ESG Matters – What a Difference A Year Makes

What a difference a year makes – or should I say – what a difference an administration makes!  Back in September 2019, when I first wrote about environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters (see HERE), and through summer 2020 when the SEC led by Chair Jay Clayton was issuing warnings about making ESG metric induced investment decisions, I was certain ESG would remain outside the SEC’s disclosure based regulatory regime.  Enter Chair Allison Herron Lee and in a slew of activity over the past few weeks, the SEC appointed a senior policy advisor for climate and ESG; the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) announced it will scrutinize climate change disclosures; Corp Fin has called for public comment on ESG disclosures and suggested a framework for discussion on the matter; the SEC has formed an enforcement task force focused on climate and ESG issues; the Division of Examinations’ 2021 examination priorities included an introduction about how this year’s