New York, NY — A multistate coalition led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta submitted comments today in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule on climate-related financial risk disclosures. In the letter, the AGs state that the new requirements are needed, “not only for the protection of our state residents who invest their retirement savings, college funds, and life savings, but also for the benefit of states as investors that safeguard the pensions under their control.”
The joint comments stress the financial risks that investors face when they lack information about climate risk that would allow them to compare companies and the risks posed by greenwashing to investors. The AGs also push the Commission to strengthen the rule and ensure transparency through several specific additional requirements and tightened compliance dates.
“Climate change is already costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and that figure is only set to grow,” said AG Bonta. “Whether a company takes seriously its financial exposure to climate change may have a serious impact on the value of that company. I urge the SEC to finalize its proposal to require companies across industries to provide accurate, detailed information about their climate change-related risks. This information is critical for investors to make smart decisions about where they are putting their money.”
“Transparency is crucial to investors and the risks that climate change poses to a company’s infrastructure and investments are no different from other risks that companies must disclose,” said Bethany Davis Noll, Executive Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center. “With their history of protecting investors, this coalition of AGs is well-placed to guide and push the Commission to finalize a strong and financially beneficial rule.”
Background — On April 11, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed changes to current rules on climate-related disclosures for investors. These changes would require the disclosure of financial and material climate risks, greenhouse gas emissions, and other financial metrics. Previously, on March 15, 2021, the SEC released a statement announcing plans to evaluate whether its disclosure rules sufficiently equip investors with“consistent, comparable, and reliable information on climate change.” AG Bonta led a coalition of 12 AGs in filing comments in response to that statement. On June 15, 2022, West Virginia led a coalition of 24 states in comments opposing the proposed rule.
ABOUT THE STATE ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT CENTER
The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at the NYU School of Law is a non-partisan academic center dedicated to the study and support of state attorneys general in their work defending and promoting clean energy, climate and environmental laws and policies.
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