US Firms Prepare for Climate Disclosures, as Democrats Issue SEC Warning

A report by climate disclosure platform Persefoni shows 94% of US finance professionals are preparing for the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate reporting proposal.  The proposal requires large companies to disclose information about their carbon footprints, covering Scope 3 emissions in some cases. In the joint ‘How Corporate Finance is Preparing for Climate Disclosure and Best Practices’ report, Persefoni found that 83% of respondents think the proposal will see finance have an increased role in reviewing ESG disclosures, with eight in ten saying they are building “complex processes needed to address organisational ESG reporting”. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said obtaining Scope 3 data was the biggest challenge in meeting the SEC’s reporting requirements, with 58% highlighting the complexity of their climate data. Almost three in ten said the biggest challenge was “inadequate technology/software to measure emissions”, with just 33% currently implementing technology solutions to meet the reporting requirements. SEC Chair Gary Gensler is reported to be considering scaling back the Scope 3 requirement, but Democrat Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse have sent a letter calling for the SEC to “stand up to the barrage of corporate lobbying” over the proposal. Warren warned that “a watered-down climate risk disclosure rule would be a failure of the SEC’s duty to protect investors.” 

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