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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday approved a highly anticipated rule to standardize climate risk disclosure requirements. In response to the decision, federal agency officials, policymakers, and industry experts and advocates applauded the outcome, reinforcing it as an important first step and a “floor, not a ceiling,” to maintain stability and transparency in America’s financial system.

From Policymakers

“Today’s rules enhance the consistency, comparability, and reliability of disclosures. The final rules provide specificity on what must be disclosed, which will produce more useful information than what investors see today.” – Gary Gensler, Chair, SEC 

“Ultimately today’s rule is better for investors than no rule at all, and that is why it has my vote.” – Carolina A. Crenshaw, Commissioner, SEC

“Climate change remains a threat to the stability of the financial system, and this serves as a market-based solution to better understand the impact it has on publicly traded companies. This rule should be cheered by all who value capitalism, investor protection, and market transparency.” Representatives Sean Casten (IL-06) and Juan Vargas (CA-52), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sustainable Investment Caucus

It’s common sense to add material climate risks to the list of what we already require companies to disclose and establish a consistent framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions. It’s clear the SEC responded to feedback from stakeholders and this rule reflects a thoughtful approach to climate risk disclosure.”  Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair of the Senate Banking Committee

From Industry Advocates & Experts

“This exercise of the agency’s authority to protect investors is an important first step … This rule is a floor, not a ceiling, for companies to report how their business is adapting to a global economy that is transitioning away from fossil fuels. Investors will continue to push for further standardization of climate information as it has a clear financial impact on their portfolios.” – Maria Lettini, CEO, US SIF: Sustainable Investment Forum

“Although this final rule does not go far enough compared to international standards and the SEC’s 2022 proposal, it will start to meet the demand for transparency that investors and companies have long sought.” – Mindy Lubber, President and CEO, Ceres

“The SEC’s rulemaking represents a net-positive for investors and our capital markets over the current status quo.” – Ben Cushing, Campaign Director, Sierra Club

“Investors will be able to see more clearly which companies are sort of future-proofed. The SEC is regulating to meet investor demand. And investors have been asking for this information — institutional investors, in particular — for at least a decade, probably longer.” – Cynthia Williams, Law Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

“We celebrate that the U.S. financial markets finally have a mandatory climate risk disclosure regime that will begin providing some comparable, decision-useful information to investors. We know well the pressures the Commission faced in launching this rule, and we applaud their sustained commitment for over two years to bring standardization of climate reporting to financial filings.” – Josh Zinner, CEO, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

In an effort to uphold yesterday’s ruling, Unlocking America’s Future launched a six-figure digital and television national ad campaign urging Americans to tell Congress to side with everyday Americans over greedy billionaires and say yes to the SEC’s new climate disclosure rule.