Policy: Environment

Introduction 
The sustainable investment community is concerned about environmental policy. Environmental criteria as a whole grew faster than social or governance factors over the past two years, increasing 57 percent, from $10.1 trillion to nearly $16.0 trillion.  

Investors and businesses need reliable policy and long-term signals to make the significant capital allocations required for a transition to a new energy system. These signals include policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy incentives. Well-designed federal policy can help drive innovation, create domestic jobs, benefit US consumers and bolster international efforts to curb climate change. 

Priority Areas of Action 
Paris Climate Agreement: The Trump Administration's November 2020 decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement was unequivocally the wrong decision. According to 2020 data from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the United States is the world's second-largest carbon emitter after China. Together, the two nations account for 42 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the US effectively tabled its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, the Biden Administration has prioritized responding to the climate crisis and officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement in February 2021.

Reversing Regulatory Changes: We are calling on the Biden-Harris Administration to restore protective climate regulations. The Clean Air Act (CAA) limits greenhouse gas emissions, including fuel standards, tailpipe emission standards, methane emission reporting and limitations, hydrofluorocarbon protections and environmental review processes. The Clean Water Act (CWA) ensures that we have clean and healthy water. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) serves as an assessment tool and requires a detailed statement of the environmental impact in every major federal action affecting the human environment. Restoring NEPA is an essential tool to ensure consideration of minority and disproportionately affected communities' input.

Sustainability Disclosure: Stakeholders value meaningful sustainability reports, and the SEC should continue to require all public companies to disclose them. Self-reported sustainability information provided on company websites is not sufficient to address investor needs because it does not permit the comparison of consistent information on material risks and opportunities. Regulation S-K disclosure should be geared towards all types of investors.  


Letters and Statements
Investors Comment Letter Opposing the Clean Power Plan Repeal 04/2018
Investor letter opposing expanded offshore fossil fuel drilling 03/2018
US SIF Statement On President Trump's Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Agreement 06/2017
US SIF Clean Power Plan Statement 03/2017
US SIF Comment Letter on Regulation S-K Disclosure 07/2016
Investors Urge The SEC To Require Mandatory Sustainability Disclosures 7/2016
US SIF Comments On President Obama’s Release Of Final Clean Power Plan Establishing Clean Air Act Standard For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Power Plants  08/2015
US SIF Comment on the U.S. EPA 's Proposed Rule on the Mandatory Reporting of GHG 06/2009