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U.S. Senator Warren ‘urges’ SEC chief to issue new climate rule after delays -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler talks to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D.MA) before she testifies in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee oversight hearing. The hearing was held on Capitol Hill, Wash.

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren criticised the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission for delaying its climate change risk disclosure rules and demanded “quick action.”

The SEC started work last year on a new rule that would require U.S. listed companies to give investors detailed disclosures about how climate change might affect their businesses. Initial plans by the SEC were to publish a draft of its rule in October. However, Chair Gary Gensler changed that date to January.

Reuters reports that last month, the agency tried to determine whether companies should be required to reveal not only their own greenhouse gases but those produced by suppliers. Bloomberg this week reported that the commissioners of the agency were divided on where to take it.

Warren’s letters will make Gensler more accountable for all emissions.

Warren wrote Gensler in a letter, “I ask you to act fast and to release as strong requirements as possible to commence the formal rulemaking processes.”

She added that “These delays were unwarranted, unacceptable and infringe the commitment you made seven month ago…the lack of a rule leaves shareholders, investors and the public unaware about the serious long- and short term climate risks faced by public companies.”

A request for comment was not answered by the SEC immediately.

The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden is working to tackle climate change.

Investors say that they also need data on corporate climate risks to assess the company’s exposure to climate change.

For their part, corporate groups are pushing for a tighter regulation that makes it simpler and cheaper to collect and report emission data and will prevent them being sued for any potential errors.

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