US SIF Statement on Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2019 Introduction
We welcome this bill as an important contribution to what we hope will ultimately be a broad approach to disclosure by the US Senate.WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2019 - Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2019. The bill directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a rule requiring public companies to report information relating to their climate risk exposure. The following statement is from Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
“Mandatory and robust environmental, social and governance disclosure reporting has been a policy priority of US SIF since it first submitted a petition to the SEC on this topic in 2009. We continue to prioritize legislation that will require disclosure of climate risk and a broad range of other environmental, social and governance issues. We welcome this bill as an important contribution to what we hope will ultimately be a broad approach to disclosure by the US Senate.
“Currently the SEC, under its Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change issued in 2010, advises that climate change risks can be material for publicly traded companies, in which case they must report on climate risks to investors. However, companies are not required to report on climate issues in any standardized way through their SEC filings. Furthermore, the SEC has been lax in enforcing its climate risk guidance. The Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2019 will benefit investors and other stakeholders by requiring climate risk reporting by all publicly traded companies.
The US SIF Foundation's 2018 Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends found that money managers in the United States are now analyzing climate change issues across $3 trillion of the assets they collectively manage. US institutional asset owners, similarly, are considering climate change issues across $2.24 trillion of their combined assets. Climate risk is one of the highest priority concerns for investors.