This week, the Securities & Exchange Commission indicated--through an update to a GSA website --that the proposed climate change disclosure rule would likely be finalized and released in October 2023. This date is congruent with an April 27th interview with former SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson, in which he stated that "it looks like the [climate disclosure] rule is going to be pushed back a little further than many had thought . . . .It [now] looks more like the fall of this year ." So, it seems as though the SEC's climate change disclosure rule will not be final until October 2023, fully eighteen months after it was initially proposed in March 2022.
While this delay is unsurprising given the complexities of the proposed rule, and the immense amount of public engagement (both for and against the proposed rule), this delay creates additional difficulties for regulated entities due to the longer period of uncertainty as to what will and will not ultimately be included in the final SEC climate change disclosure rule. (It is also unclear whether this delay will cause the deadlines provided by the rule to be further extended, or whether the SEC will mandate swift compliance to this new set of mandatory disclosures.) Still, the additional information with respect to timing--even if only approximate--is valuable data to regulated entities, who can now make more focused preparations for this SEC regulatory action.
Yesterday, the SEC’s Spring 2023 Reg Flex Agenda, which reflects the targeted timeframe for planned rulemaking, was released. Generally, it looks like the most significant, unfinished rulemaking previously targeted for April has been pushed out to October. Here are some highlights for rulemaking in the final rule stage: Climate Change Disclosure (October 2023) Cybersecurity Risk Governance (October 2023) Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (October 2023) Modernization of Beneficial Ownership Reporting (October 2023) 14a-8 Amendments (October 2023)