On March 21st, the SEC released proposed rule changes for certain climate-related disclosures to provide investors with consistent, comparable, and decision-useful information for making their investment decisions.
Since the release of these proposed rule changes, there has been industry pushback throughout certain sectors.
What are the Key Takeaways from the Industry Pushback?
- The SEC received approximately 14,000 comments in the past few months over its proposed rule changes.
- This has applied pressure to the SEC to analyze and review all the comments.
- There is a belief that the final release of the Rule will be targeted for November 2022.
- The Business Roundtable believes that the Proposed rule changes would require an immense amount of information to be produced by registrants.
- The belief is that this information would not be comparable, reliable, or meaningful for investors.
- A high risk of liability for disclosures would be in place for registrants that involve a high degree of uncertainty.
- Deal makers are asking the SEC to make adjustments to give them enough time to report information about acquired companies.
- They believe a potential delay could occur on merger or acquisition deals because it would force public companies to disclose information about climate risks and emissions.
- There is a belief this could extend the timeline by several weeks or more.
- 65% of corporate decisions made now expect their company’s focus on ESG to increase, according to Bain & Co.
- Reporting emissions information is a large undertaking for companies looking to do deals in part to help them achieve their ESG-related goals.
Vigilant’s Final Conclusion
With the potential complexity of the new Rule taking place towards the climate related disclosures, we would suggest that Firms start preparing now.
Having the infrastructure in place to track and report the impact of climate on your business will be crucial and take time. It is not a matter of “if”, it is a matter of “when” the final Rules will be released which makes it important to begin preparing now. Intersection between the business model and ESG will be important.
Be sure to stay tuned for updates on the Rule from the SEC as they conclude their review of the comments.
If you are in need of assistance preparing for the new Rule that will take place soon, contact us.
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