13th August 2021
ClientEarth lawyers are calling on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make seven key changes to corporate law to ensure the stability of the nation’s economic and financial system.
Lawyers from the environmental law organization’s US office are urging government regulators to take bold and immediate steps to ensure corporations provide adequate disclosures of climate risks. This is key to long-term economic resilience and alignment with Paris Agreement goals.
Under the Biden Administration, the SEC is expected to make major regulatory changes and it has requested recommendations from the public.
ClientEarth lawyers have developed seven key recommendations to ensure adequate and enforceable climate disclosures:
If adopted, these recommendations will improve the quality of information provided by corporations to investors. They will also promote international reporting consistency and facilitate more efficient capital flows between markets.
ClientEarth’s Americas Director Doug Ruley said: “As our understanding of the impacts of our planet’s changing climate has evolved, it has become obvious that climate change is not merely a moral or environmental challenge, but also a financial one.
“Climate risks threaten corporations’ financial performance, undermine the stability of financial markets, and destabilize the entire economic system of the United States.”
This summer, ClientEarth’s US team will be meeting with the SEC to discuss these recommendations.
In June 2021, the House of Representatives passed its own legislation on environmental social governance (ESG), which requires disclosure of ESG metrics and dictates reporting expectations, though the legislation faces opposition from Republicans in the Senate.
ClientEarth’s lawyers recognize the many organizations in the country providing valuable recommendations on other issues that are equally deserving of enhanced disclosure, including human rights, diversity, health and safety, political lobbying and donations, and the preservation of biodiversity.
The full list of ClientEarth recommendations can be found here.
Photo credit: Aaron Burson / Unsplash