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 enormous in scope, complexity, and ramifications with a polarizing comment response largely along party lines. The comment period ended June 17, 2022, after a relatively short, but necessary extension by the SEC. Despite the controversy, there is no doubt that the rules, even if somewhat modified, will be passed and public companies need to start preparing now. The recently published Reg Flex Agenda indicates we should see final rules in October 2022. The rules will require compliance with extraordinarily