SEC weighs making ‘adjustments’ to controversial climate risk disclosure rule, Chairman Gensler says

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Gary GenslerChairman of the Securities And Exchange CommissionAt the SEC Headquarters in WashingtonOn July 22, 2021.

Melissa Lyttle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Securities And Exchange Commission After receiving criticism from investors and companies, the agency is now considering relaxing a controversial climate risk disclosure policy it issued last year.

“We got nearly 15,000 public comments on that proposal,” Chairman Gary Gensler Interview Friday CNBC’s CNBC “Squawk Box.” He It was standard for the agency to do so. “review all that, think through the economics, think through the legal authorities that commenters have raised. It’s quite customary to make adjustments.”

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The Proposed “Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” Investors are required to see how publicly traded companies affect climate change and contribute to carbon emissions.

The Plan, unveiled in March 2022 is not popular with the C-suite leadership. Only 25% of CFOs CNBC surveyed 2022 respondents to support disclosures.

“Investors are making investments based on these disclosures,” Gensler said.

He It was also denied that rule changes are linked to political influence. The Wall Street Journal First reported The agency’s actions that day Rep. Patrick McHeChair of the House Financial Services CommitteeAnnounced a Republican Working group on environmental, governance and social issues (or ESGs).

“The SEC’s climate disclosure rule is a prime example of this overreach that would have a wide-ranging impact on hard-working Americans across all walks of life,” McHeIn a, nry was quoted. Feb. 3 statement. “I look forward to leading our committee’s ESG working group, which will focus on promoting strong, vibrant capital markets while defending the interests of all retail investors.”

Gensler According to the disclosures, companies were required to submit a clear climate transition plan.

“If a company doesn’t have a climate transition plan, that disclosure was: ‘We don’t we don’t have that such a plan or target,’” He stated. “Some companies have targets (on) how to manage this. And it was: if you have something, just disclose it and sort of describe it so that the investing public has the material features of those plans in that regard.”

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The The SEC chief also refuted suggestions that his agency was responding to investor pressure.

“I like to say (that) we’re merit neutral, whether it’s crypto or climate risk. But we’re not investor protection, neutral or capital formation neutral,” He stated. “It’s about bringing consistency and comparability to disclosures that are already being made about climate risks, and investors seem to be today making decisions about this information, these disclosures.”

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