US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler says he wants mandatory disclosure proposals on climate risks by the end of the year.
Speaking at the “Climate and Global Financial Markets” webinar on 28 July, Gensler said investors are demanding more information on climate change but prior SEC guidelines on climate disclosure were voluntary, resulting in inconsistent disclosures. By the end of the year the SEC will release a proposed rule mandating public companies to disclose climate related risks.
“Investors increasingly want to understand the climate risks of the companies they own or might buy,” he said. “Large and small investors representing literally tens of trillions of dollars are looking for this information to determine whether to invest, sell, or make a voting decision one way or another. Investors are looking for consistent, comparable, and decision-useful disclosures so they can put their money in companies that fit their needs. Companies and investors alike would benefit from clear rules of the road.”
Gensler said disclosure information might include how the company’s leadership manages climate-related risks and opportunities, as well as metrics related to greenhouse gas emissions, financial impacts of climate change, and progress toward climate-related goals.
He also said he is considering recommendations that fund managers be required to disclose the criteria and data they are using to make ESG claims. He also said that a fund name should reflect what it is actually investing in.