Acting SEC Chair Issues Statement on Climate-Change Disclosures
On February 24, acting Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee issued a statement that she has directed the Division of Corporation Finance (the “Staff”) to focus on climate-change disclosures in public company filings. Referencing the SEC’s guidance on climate-change disclosure previously issued in 2010, she stated that the Staff will begin reviewing climate-change disclosures to evaluate compliance with the guidance and disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws, engaging with public companies and considering how the market is managing climate-related risks. In her statement, Chair Lee emphasized that investors are increasingly considering climate-related issues in making their investment decisions, and that it is the SEC’s duty to make sure that investors have access to material information when making those decisions.
Chair Lee also indicated that, through this endeavor, the Staff will begin to update the SEC’s previously issued guidance on climate-change disclosure, whether in the form of updated rulemaking or additional interpretive guidance.