The environment has been a significant issue during the past few decades, and many companies have taken it upon themselves to become more sustainable. Now, it appears that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will extend its formal regulations related to climate-related disclosures. The SEC has extended its public comment period, inviting people to comment on new rules and regulations related to climate-related disclosures for companies and investors.
What Is in the Proposal?
Today, people care more about where they spend their money than ever before. A lot of people pay close attention to the potential impact that companies have on the environment. Therefore, the SEC, and numerous other financial professionals, believe it is important for investors to understand if companies are engaging in activities that may have a negative (or positive) impact on the environment, as it can have a direct impact on their bottom line as well.
Under the new proposal, companies would be required to include additional information related to climate-related risks. If their activities are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, the results of their operations, or their individual financial circumstances, then the SEC will require companies to disclose that information. This information would be used by investors to decide whether it is worth it to invest in that company.
Feedback on the Proposal
Since the proposal has been announced, it has already drawn a significant amount of feedback. There are a lot of environmental groups that have praised the proposal, but many accounting groups have also stated that the information might be tough to categorize. Some businesses are also concerned about the administrative burden it might create, but many lawmakers have praised the ruling as well. It is obvious that the proposal is of great interest to the public, numerous regulatory authorities, the government, and investors as a whole.
A Window Into the Future
This is not the first time that the SEC has required companies to disclose information related to possible climate-related activities. As concern related to the environment continues to increase, consumers will only care more about the potential impact that companies are having on the environment. Therefore, the climate, and climate-related activities, will continue to have a direct impact on the bottom line of countless businesses. As long as this impact remains in place, the SEC will only continue to require companies to disclose information related to their potential impacts on the environment.
The Comment Period Is Open: The SEC Is Reviewing the Feedback
The new rules and regulations proposed by the SEC are not yet final. The comment period is open, and it usually lasts for 30 days. Everyone, from the general public to large companies, is invited to weigh in with their thoughts. Then, the SEC will review all of the feedback that it has received before deciding on a final ruling. It will be interesting to see what happens next and how companies and investors respond to the proposed changes. Comments may be submitted electronically on the SEC’s site.