SEC Warms to Climate Change

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted in a 3-2 vote interpretive guidance (the “Interpretive Guidance”) related to public company disclosure standards in connection with climate change. The SEC emphasized in its open meeting that it was not establishing legal requirements or changing existing rules but rather providing guidance under various pre-existing standards of federal securities law. Further, the Commissioners made clear that they were not weighing in on the global warming debate. This action follows years of petitions that called upon the SEC to both clarify climate-related disclosure obligations under existing law and begin close evaluation of current disclosure practices.

Backdrop

The SEC’s actions also come in the wake of other recent regulatory, legislative and legal developments related to climate change. For example...

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