September 22, 2021

Volume XI, Number 265

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SEC Creates Climate Change and ESG Website to Act as Central Hub for Agency Action and Information

On March 22, 2021, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has launched a new website to act as a central hub for all SEC action and information related to climate and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. In response to “increased investor demand” for ESG information, the SEC has made the new ESG website available on the front page of sec.gov.

The SEC’s ESG website reflects a renewed “all-of-SEC” approach to ESG-related issues, and it currently provides information on and links to the following recent SEC actions and agency announcements (several of which we previously reported here):

  • The SEC’s request for public input and comment on whether the existing SEC disclosure framework provides enough information for investors to make informed investment decisions on climate change-related issues

  • Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee’s statement informing the public that she has directed the SEC Division of Corporation Finance to focus on the adequacy of climate-related disclosure in public company filings

  • The SEC Division of Examinations’ announcement of its top priorities for conducting examinations in 2021, which include an increased focus on ESG issues

  • The SEC’s announcement of the creation of its ESG Task Force within the Division of Enforcement, which will be responsible for developing initiatives to identify ESG-related misconduct

  • The SEC’s investor bulletin that provides information on funds (e.g., mutual funds and Exchange-Traded Funds) that focus on ESG-related principles

The SEC has stated its intention to update its ESG website as it continues to respond to and act on ESG-related issues.

Considering the flurry of recent SEC announcements and action, public companies should take the SEC at its word that it will increase focus and action on ESG-related issues. Public companies should take the opportunity now to get ahead of this renewed push and should review, with counsel, their ESG impact, policies and procedures, and disclosures.

© 2021 Jones Walker LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 98
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About this Author

Dionne M. Rousseau, Jones Walker, acquisitions transactions lawyer, public private companies attorney
Partner

Dionne Rousseau has served as the lead outside corporate and securities counsel for 12 public companies, and as boardroom lawyer for three of those companies. She has more than 25 years of experience handling corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions transactions for public and private companies. Representative transactions handled as lead counsel include two $1-billion at-the-market common stock offerings for a Fortune 500® Company; a $1-billion debt refinancing, including $300 million in senior subordinated notes and a $200-million debt tender offer...

225-248-2026
Thomas Kimball, Jones Walker Law Firm, New Orleans, Corporate Law Attorney
Associate

Thomas D. Kimball is an associate in the firm’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group and practices from the firm’s New Orleans office. He is a 2016 graduate of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, where he received a juris doctor degree, summa cum laude, a Certificate in Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, and earned the William L. Crowe, Sr. Scholar distinction. In addition, Mr. Kimball was an Articles Editor on the Loyola Law Review Editorial Board and served in Loyola’s Entrepreneurship Project, a partnership with Propeller which...

504-582-8107
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