The Volokh Conspiracy

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Climate Change

Will We Ever Get an SEC Climate Disclosure Rule?

The Securities & Exchange Commission again delays issuing a controversial anticipated rule.


Last March, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule that would require companies to provide greater disclosure of climate-related risks and of their greenhouse gas emissions, both direct and indirect. The 500-plus-page proposal prompted substantial controversy and several industry groups and state attorneys general announced they planned to file suit if the SEC proceeded with the rule as planned.

It was widely anticipated that the SEC would issue a final rule this spring. Now, however, it looks as if the final rule will be issued in the fall, at the earliest.

Corporate Counsel reports:

former SEC commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr. stated on a webinar last month that the agency wanted to take more time to craft the rule after extensive public input.

"I've just understood over the last few weeks it looks like the rule is going to be pushed back a little further than many had thought, including myself. It looks more like the fall of this year," S&P Global Market Intelligence quoted Jackson as saying.

That would likely mean public companies would likely not begin making climate disclosures until next year.

But even that could be optimistic.

As the story notes, the SEC appears to be behind schedule with a controversial cyber-security regulation too. Observers suggest the Commission is taking extra time to ensure its regulatory measures will survive judicial review. Depending on the content of the ultimate rules, however, extra time might not do all that much to insulate the rules from legal attack.

For more on the issues surrounding SEC-mandated climate disclosure, see this post from 2022 and the 2021 webinar linked therein.