The Securities and Exchange Commission is about to get more aggressive on climate-related disclosure in public company filings.
Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee, Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the SEC, has announced her staff will review the extent to which public companies address the topics identified in the 2010 guidance regarding disclosure of climate change matters.
The SEC’s enhanced focus in this area will have the staff assessing compliance with disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws, engage with public companies on these issues, and absorb critical lessons on how the market is currently managing climate-related risks, the announcement said.
The SEC intends to update the 2010 guidance to take into account developments in the last decade.
“The staff of the SEC plays a critically important role in ensuring compliance with disclosure obligations, including those that implicate climate risk, through its review of public company filings and its engagement with issuers. The perspective the staff brings to bear is invaluable in helping to ensure that issuers comply with their obligations and that investors receive the information they need to properly inform their investment decisions”, said SEC’s Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee.
“Now more than ever, investors are considering climate-related issues when making their investment decisions. It is our responsibility to ensure that they have access to material information when planning for their financial future. Ensuring compliance with the rules on the books and updating existing guidance are immediate steps the agency can take on the path to developing a more comprehensive framework that produces consistent, comparable, and reliable climate-related disclosures”, Ms. Lee added.
The trading industry has taken ESG policy and popularity to heart and has recently entered a momentum of new ESG-related trading services, analytics, listings, and Eco trading accounts.
Singapore Exchange has this week partnered with OneConnect to build an ESG disclosure platform that addresses common challenges faced by companies and investors such as lack of comparability, changing investors’ demand, as well as the evolving business landscape and regulations.
In the field of ESG analytics, SIX Group acquired Canada-based Orenda which analyzes and quantifies social media data to provide insights, quantify public perception, and identify values that resonate with customers and stakeholders. Refinitiv launched an AI-based engine that locates content pertaining to specific companies as well as cities, regions, and countries while excluding corporate press releases, corporate websites, and regulatory filings. In sum, it minimizes the impact of corporate “greenwashing.”
Retail FX brokerage CedarFX launched an Eco Account, where traders who opt to use this particular product will be charged a $1 commission fee per lot traded, which will be matched by CedarFX at the end of each month, for carbon reduction.