SEC Commissioner Pushes Climate Disclosure Regulation

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

[co-author: Charles Smith]

On October 20, 2021, during a webcast hosted by Principles for Responsible Investment and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Allison Herren Lee, Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission), emphasized the importance of standardized sustainability-related risk disclosures. During the webcast, Lee stressed, “[W]e must seek ways to collaborate across jurisdictional boundaries to promote consistency in climate-related disclosure.”

These remarks underscore the Commission’s push for a more comprehensive and standardized climate disclosure regime. Gary Gensler, Chair at the Commission, has emphasized the importance of climate risk disclosures and asked Commission staff to develop a mandatory climate risk disclosure rule proposal for the Commission’s consideration by the end of the year. The Commission has received thousands of comment letters in response to a request for public input regarding the rule proposal that reflect “a wide range of perspectives data and expertise to inform the agency’s staff and to help us move swiftly to develop a rule proposal,” according to Lee. Following the upcoming rule proposal, Lee noted in the webcast that the Commission will continue to engage with the public “every step along the way ... to ensure that we are proceeding carefully, deliberatively and based on the best available data.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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