SEC Issues Wake-Up Call on Climate-Change Disclosure
Platt, Gordon, Global Finance
The US Securities and Exchange Commission opened a can of worms with Its decision to require companies to consider the effects of climate change when disclosing business risks to investors. It was a can that needed opening, however, in fairness to investors and to the long-term benefit of the rompantes themselves. Last month the SEC published an interpretive release to provide guidance to US public companies on the commission's existing disclosure lequirenwite as they apply to climate change. It is intended to help the companies understand and satisfy their disclosure obligations under US securities laws and regulations.
SEC chairman Mary Schapiro made it dear that the guidance does not mem that the commission te taking a position oh climate change or global warming or Ito causes. The SEC Is not iImposing any new legal requirements, but the action was a milestone In that it could be the first step toward wider sustainability reporting. When deciding what Information to include in corporate filings, companies should be aware of existing laws and regulations and how they affect thefr business. …