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Status of the SEC Climate-disclosure Rule
In Congressional hearings this week the SEC chair, Gary Gensler, defended the need for the climate-disclosure rule. He pointed out that the proposed rule has received over 14,000 comments - most of them supporting the initiative. The senators that challenge the need for the rule state that the SEC does not have the legal authority to implement this rule without having specific legislation.
In the meantime, the climate continues to deteriorate. The following is from a September 14 Reuters article.
In just the past two months, record-shattering torrential rains have wreaked havoc on homes and businesses in Texas, the west coast and the Midwest, along with Pakistan, Australia, China and other parts of the globe. In a cruel twist traceable to climate change, these same regions have also been reeling from withering heat and droughts that have devastated crops and water supplies and halted supply chains.
The financial hits from these dry-and-deluge double whammies will be consequential. In the first half of 2022 alone, climate-linked extreme weather caused an estimated $65 billion in losses worldwide. That’s double the losses from the same time period in 2018. And, with global greenhouse gas emissions and average temperatures continuing to rise, these numbers will continue to grow. The impacts of climate change could slash U.S. GDP by 7% by 2050, according to global insurer SwissRe.
These and other financial impacts from the systemic climate trends are hugely relevant as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission considers its next move in its push to significantly strengthen corporate climate disclosure rules.
The posts at this site focus on the technical and managerial aspects of the proposed rule. We will leave the legal and legislative issues to others. However, given the severity of recent climate events, it seems unlikely that the SEC will be completely prevented from finalizing a climate-disclosure rule.
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