The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed regulations on Monday to require companies to disclose their exposure to climate change risks, as well as—to varying extents—the greenhouse gas pollution they generate. The proposed rule would give investors a baseline of consistent and comparable information, and “Companies and investors alike would benefit from the clear rules of the road proposed in this release,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. The rule would encompass the risks posed by the physical impacts of climate change like stronger storms, droughts, heatwaves, or wildfires, that could affect businesses operations, as well as political and financial risks linked to the transition away from fossil fuels, towards clean forms of energy.
The rule would require companies to disclose the direct greenhouse gas pollution their operations emit and the indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the energy they consume (“Scope 1” and “Scope 2” emissions, respectively). It would also require some larger companies to report pollution generated by a firm’s suppliers and customers (“Scope 3” emissions) if those emissions are “material” to investors. (Washington Post, AP, New York Times $, Bloomberg $, Axios, Reuters, NPR, The Guardian, E&E News, Grist, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Washington Examiner, Wall Street Journal $, Reuters, factbox)