SEC to extend comment period for proposed climate disclosure rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission today said that it would extend the comment period for its recently proposed climate disclosure rule from May 20 until June 17. The rule—which was originally proposed in March—would establish requirements for public companies to disclose information about climate risks affecting them, their greenhouse gas footprints and any emissions-reduction plans they may have adopted.

The proposal requires disclosure of a registrant’s direct GHG emissions (scope 1), indirect emissions from purchased energy (scope 2) and indirect emissions from activities upstream and downstream in a registrant’s “value chain,” if material (scope 3, which would include “financed emissions” in a bank’s lending portfolio). Small reporting companies would be exempt entirely from scope 3 disclosures, and due to their complexity scope 3 disclosures would phase in after scope 1 and 2 for larger registrants and also be subject to a safe harbor. Accelerated and large accelerated filers would need to obtain independent attestation reports for their disclosures of scopes 1 and 2 emissions.