US Chamber comment on SEC Climate Related Disclosure FINAL
June 16, 2022
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports climate policy that includes the disclosure of material information for investors to use. U.S. companies have led the way in providing this information, and more, to investors through voluntary disclosures, which have been effective in detailing significant amounts of information about the actual and potential impacts of climate change on their businesses; both the quantity and quality of climate-related disclosure have increased and continue to do so. Combating climate change requires citizens, governments and businesses to work together. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), working in coordination with other government agencies whose primary responsibility it is to protect the environment, also has a role to play to the extent that climate risk implicates the Commission’s tripartite mission of investor protection, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation.
When viewed holistically, however, the Chamber is concerned that the SEC’s Proposed Rules may prove counterproductive by mandating that companies produce extensive amounts of information that is not material, thus obscuring for investors what is most important to making informed voting and investment decisions, as well as creating confusion and misimpressions. The Chamber is committed to working constructively with the SEC to develop and ensure an effective, standardized and consistent mandatory disclosure regime under the federal securities laws so that the marketplace has the benefit of material climate-related information that informs investor decision-making as investors seek out financial returns. However, the SEC’s Proposed Rules, as currently crafted, exceed the SEC’s lawful authority and are vast and unprecedented in their scope, complexity, rigidity and prescriptive particularity.