Investors petition SEC to require companies to disclose climate risk
Activists, investors, and activist investors have teamed up to try to compel the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded companies to disclose their climate-change risks. Under current law, the SEC requires companies to detail potential risks to investors in their annual and quarterly reports to the agency. The activists, armed with a petition, are seeking an “interpretive” release from the agency clarifying that climate risk, and the risks and benefits that could come from domestic climate legislation, should already be part of a company’s financial reports. “This is about an investor’s right to know,” said a spokesperson for the California state attorney general. “Existing SEC rules, we believe, clearly require companies to disclose the risks and benefits to their operations presented by climate change.” On Friday, the attorney general of New York state sent subpoenas to five energy companies seeking similar information about whether they properly disclosed climate-related risks to investors. Now if only we could get businesses to care about the concerns of non-investors too, we’d be set.