At a hearing in front of the Senate Climate Change Task Force Committee, Moonyoung Ko, Climate Finance Campaign Manager at AFR, spoke to Senate Democrats on the need for these climate-related financial disclosures for all investors including retail investors and those who trust in others to manage their retirement savings like 401(k)s or IRAs and have less access to resources than institutional investors. Further, Ko emphasized the need for mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, including Scope 3 emissions, from companies, because these data are a critical input to financial reporting.
Ko testified that the SEC has not only the authority, but the responsibility to act to ensure fairness and transparency in the capital markets and respond to the demands from investors to require these climate-related disclosures for investor protection. Requesting disclosures from companies is a common tool used by the SEC to continue to fulfill their mandate, and climate-related disclosures are no different.
Joining Ko were witnesses from Amalgamated Bank, Ocean Conservancy, and Ceres. Senators Markey, Whitehouse, Brown, and Carper and the experts urged the SEC to fulfill its mandate by requiring public companies to disclose the full-scope of climate-related risks that companies face so that investors can protect themselves and properly evaluate securities.
The hearing was convened by Senator Markey, whose press release can be found here.
“Without a mandatory, standardized process for public companies to disclose their climate-related financial risks, investors will remain in the dark, and not have the information they need to assess risks to their investments, including those derived from impacts that their investments have on climate change or on impacted communities and countries,” said Ko.