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This week in responsible investing, a House committee passed a measure which would kill the SEC’s new climate risk disclosure rule despite a coalition of investor networks supporting the rule. More below:

A coalition of investor networks called on Congressional leadership to support the SEC’s climate risk disclosure rule.

From the release: “Investors want and need this valuable information to make informed investment choices and meet their fiduciary obligations to the people whose money and retirement savings they manage,” the coalition wrote. “As climate change worsens and continues to cost the global economy, investors want to understand how individual companies are exposed to material climate risks and which companies are prepared to effectively and proactively mitigate those risks.” 

A measure which would kill the SEC’s climate risk disclosure rule passed out of committee and will move to the House floor.

From UAF’s statement: “The House Financial Services Committee’s decision to move H.J. Res 127 to a vote in the House is disappointing, as it squarely defies the demands of investors and the interests of the American public across partisan lines. The vote outcome did not come as a surprise given that opponents of the SEC’s climate risk disclosure rule doubled down on misinformation during the markup debate and made clear they will continue to ignore broad calls for support. The SEC’s rule is an important step forward in standardizing climate risk reporting, which many companies are already voluntarily doing, and maintaining the United States’ competitiveness on the global stage as our international peers are well underway with similar reporting requirements.” 

ESG Dive covered the SEC climate risk disclosure rule fight, including UAF’s ads and polling. 

From the article: UAF also released a poll Thursday — conducted by Morning Consult on UAF’s behalf last month — that found that 85% of Democrat respondents and 60% of Republican respondents believe publicly traded companies should have to disclose climate-related risks. Knowledge of the SEC’s rule is low, with just 5% of respondents knowing exactly what it is and 50% having never heard of it, according to the poll. However, the survey found that after a “brief and neutral” description, 63% of respondents either somewhat or strongly supported such a rule, compared to just 15% who somewhat or strongly opposed it. Over one-fifth of respondents (21%) did not have an opinion after receiving a description.

After House Republicans attempted to advance legislation to overturn the SEC climate risk disclosure rule, the environmental and responsible business community weighed in.

From UAF’s round-up: Experts in finance and sustainability are criticizing the House Financial Services Committee for its efforts to advance a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which overturns the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate risk disclosure rule.  Ahead of a Committee markup this week, Unlocking America’s Future released research showing members of the Committee have taken over $5 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. 

Bloomberg covered a Texas conference, where muni borrowers bemoaned draconian anti-responsible investing laws in the state.

From the article: For Amy Perez, deputy executive director for the Office of Management and Budget for Harris County, the new measures are creating extra work. Her team now hires two dealers on bond deals, she said, instead of their usual practice of just choosing one, in case either of them gets entangled in the ESG probes. She said she has yet to notice a pricing differential on bond deals. “Anytime you lose competition of any kind it is a concern,” she said. “It could possibly get to a point that we see a differential in pricing.”

CEOs are expecting significant returns from responsible investing in the next three to five years, according to a study covered in ESG Today.

From the article: Paul Knopp, Chair and CEO of KPMG US, said: “CEOs are thinking beyond complying with climate disclosure rules and focused on creating long-term value for their companies, ensuring the integration of sustainability into core business practices and operations. They see their sustainability strategy and reporting being supercharged by effective data management and GenAI, which can help their organizations make real-time, data-informed adjustments.”

Thanks to climate change, banks are being forced to consider ecological disasters when it comes to investment strategies.

From Bloomberg: As the world veers further off course from its goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, banks are increasingly having to pay attention to the financial implications of a rapidly-warming planet. The economic shocks inherent to the current trajectory of global warming may leave banks facing loan losses and impaired balance sheets. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has said climate change has the potential to affect “the safety and soundness of banks and the stability of the broader banking system.”

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