On March 21, 2022, the SEC proposed rules that would require publicly reporting companies to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. Among other information, the new disclosures would require information about greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on a company’s business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to its audited financial statements.
The proposed rules are heady and complex (490-page rules release) presenting an enormous scope, complexity and ramifications. As such, like the SPAC rules, I am breaking down the proposal in detail in a series of blogs.
In the first blog in this series, I provided some background and an introduction to the rules (see HERE). The second provided a high-level summary of the proposed rules including the phase in compliance schedule (see HERE). The third blog in the series discussed the
Ahead of the imminent publication of updated climate disclosure rules, the SEC has published a sample comment letter providing companies with guidance as to the regulator’s current focus and expectations under the rules. The last official SEC guidance on climate-related guidance was published in 2010; however, the SEC, and individual top brass, have been vocal about the need for updated regulations. In that regard, in March 2021, the SEC published a statement requesting public input on climate change disclosures. It is expected that either a rule proposal or temporary final rules are forthcoming. For more information on differing views following the March 2021 request for public comment, including from regulators, industry groups and individual SEC Commissioners, see HERE.
In 2010 as today, companies were and are required to report material information that can impact financial conditions and operations (see most recent amendments to MD&A disclosures: HERE). In addition to MD&A, climate-change-related disclosures, including risks and opportunities, may