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Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a highly anticipated rule to standardize climate risk disclosure requirements. In the days following the decision, several attorneys general announced they would be challenging the rule in court. At the same time, federal agency officials, policymakers, and industry experts and advocates have come forward in support of the rule, saying ‘transparency and information systems are incredibly important’ and well within the SEC’s scope to enforce.

What They’re Saying

“The rules we adopted today… it’s about investors making investment decisions and what risk it poses to investors. It’s grounded in materiality, a multi-decade old concept that companies disclose that which a reasonable investor would consider amongst a total mix of information in making just an investment decision or voting.” – Gary Gensler, Chair, SEC on CNBC’s Power Lunch

“The Commission undertakes rulemaking consistent with its authorities and laws governing the administrative process and will vigorously defend the final climate risk disclosure rules in court.” SEC Spokesperson 

All of this is to just try to put in investors’ hands information that will be useful to them in understanding the costs associated with both physical weather events and the company’s plans with regard to how it’s going to meet its climate-related goals.” – Kristina Wyatt, Chief Sustainability Officer, Persefoni and former senior counsel for climate and ESG at the SEC

“This push for companies to disclose their emissions reminds me of the old Warren Buffett saying: ‘You don’t know who’s swimming without trunks until the tide goes out.’ That’s why we think transparency and information systems are incredibly important. How are we going to have a carbon market if we can’t measure carbon sequestration? If we’re gonna get to net zero, that means probably sequestering 10 gigatons of CO2 a year, at $100 a ton. That’s a trillion dollars a year. So you want to be the one to build the system that can support a trillion-dollar market.” – Tom Styer, Co-Executive Chair, Galvanize Climate Solutions

“It’s been amazing to see the number of new jobs that have been created with specifically this outcome in mind. I think this field is a whole new avenue for early-career professionals who are studying climate science and sustainability-related topics. Without a doubt that if it gets built into regulatory policy and it’s not shot down through legal processes, that there will be more demand for physical risk data right now.” Stephen Bennett, Co-Founder, Demex

In an effort to uphold last week’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.