U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Stays Climate Disclosure Rule

On Thursday, April 4, 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission or SEC) issued an order staying its March 6, 2024, Final Rules — The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors, Rel. Nos. 33-11275, 34-99678 (Mar. 6, 2024), 89 Fed. Reg. 21,668 (Mar. 28, 2024). As discussed in detail in Sidley’s March 12, 2024, alert here, the Final Rules require domestic and foreign registrants to include extensive climate-related information in public securities filings.

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SEC Finalizes Climate-Related Disclosure Rules Ushering in a New Era of Public Company Climate Reporting

On March 6, 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules that will require domestic and foreign registrants to include extensive climate-related information in their registration statements and periodic reports.

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Federal District Courts’ Federal-Question Jurisdiction Over Federal Agencies’ Actions

On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court  in Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission et al. unanimously held that federal district courts can hear constitutional challenges to an agency’s administrative enforcement powers without waiting for the outcome of administrative appeals to that action.

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U.S. SEC Deals With the Shadow of West Virginia v. EPA

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has missed its self-imposed October deadline for finalizing the proposed rule titled “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.” The commission had to reopen the public comments period for this rulemaking in October following a technical glitch that kept a number of public comments from reaching it. Adding to the delay is the significant number of comments that the commission has received relating to the proposal that, if finalized, would require companies to delineate how climate change would put their operations at risk and, perhaps more importantly, would require disclosures regarding Scope 3 emissions — emissions generated by their supply chain and customers when using their products. As proposed, the rule would impose an increased reporting burden starting with data collection as early as January 2023. When asked about this increased burden in a recent Senate hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that the commission is “trying to balance … out” the need for standardizing the reporting with the burden imposed by it. (more…)

SEC Brings First Enforcement Action Over ESG Disclosures

In late April, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought its first enforcement action over alleged false and misleading claims made in a mining company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures. The complaint relates to the 2019 collapse of the company’s dam that injured hundreds and released 12 million tons of mining waste into the environment. (more…)

SEC Proposes Far-Reaching Rules for “Enhancement and Standardization” of Climate-Related Disclosures

On March 21, 2022, the SEC issued proposed rules that would require public companies to include extensive climate-related information in their registration statements and periodic reports. The proposed rules would require disclosure concerning climate-related risks and impacts, oversight and governance of climate-related risks, climate-related financial statement metrics, climate-related goals, and greenhouse gas emissions. (more…)

Key Takeaways: People Places Planet: The Enforcement Angle Podcast Featuring SEC’s Kelly Gibson

This Sidley Update provides key takeaways from the most recent “The Enforcement Angle” episode as part of the Environmental Law Institute’s People Places Planet podcast. The episode is hosted by Justin Savage, partner and global co-leader of Sidley’s Environmental practice, and Ranah Esmaili, who recently joined the firm as a partner in the global Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice from the SEC’s Asset Management Unit within the Division of Enforcement. Justin and Ranah talk with Kelly Gibson, director of the Philadelphia Regional Office for the SEC and leader of the Climate and ESG Task Force within the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Read more here.

SEC Climate Disclosure Bill Clears U.S. House Committee Vote

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee advanced another piece of legislation related to disclosures of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Introduced by Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., HR 2570, the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, cleared the committee with the full support of the majority members in a vote of 28 to 24. (more…)