by Gregg LaBar

July 19, 2022

The comment period has closed for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed Climate Change Disclosure rule. During the 90-day comment period that expired in mid-June, the Commission received more than 10,000 comments. The commenters include many large industry and investor groups such as the American Chemistry Council, Black Rock, Global Reporting Initiative, ISS, Moody’s, Morningstar, Risk Management Association, State Street, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Vanguard Group and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The Society for Corporate Governance submitted a 94-page comments letter and the National Investor Relations Institute provided 13 pages of comments. We highly recommend both comment letters to our ESG, corporate governance and investor relations contacts.

The SEC is currently targeting October 2022 to issue a final rule, which seems unlikely and will undoubtedly result in extensive legal maneuvers.

Not as high profile are several other ESG-related rulemaking projects that are at the proposal and comment stage:

There are two other ESG-related rulemaking projects that are just getting started but will likely generate significant interest in the months ahead:

Our general advice on SEC rulemaking is to maintain a watchful eye, but do not hold back or accelerate your ESG disclosures based on what the SEC might do in six months or a year or more, provided it can clear all the regulatory and legal hurdles. Continue to stay focused on what matters most to your business and your stakeholders, while never underestimating the potential future impact of new SEC requirements.

Want to hear more about the trends in regulations and best practices? Contact me to discuss and be sure to sign up for our free weekly ESG/Sustainability eNewsletter here.