Will the SEC adopt final climate disclosure rules by the end of March? Sans Scope 3?

Here’s the intro from this note by Tim Mohin based on information reported in this article: “There is new hope that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will issue its long-awaited climate disclosure rule soon. A draft of the final rule has been circulated to the SEC’s five commissioners, and a meeting to vote on the rule is expected by the end of March. Readers of this newsletter have been watching this policy for nearly two years now and are rightly skeptical that the rule will be finalized soon, and candidly, it’s not yet clear this will happen in March. Also, there is no reliable information about the final requirements of the rule.”

Tim is right. Even if a draft rule has been circulated among the Commissioners, it doesn’t necessarily mean that adoption could happen within weeks. Given the controversial nature of the climate disclosure proposal, it could bounce around within the SEC’s HQ for longer than that. But it is a sign that the final rule might be coming sooner rather than later. And given how long we’ve already waited, it’s probably a good bet we may yet hear about an open Commission meeting in March where the rule will be voted upon.

And then we have the intro from this blog by Cooley’s Cydney Posner: “Today, Reuters reported exclusively that the SEC is indeed planning to eliminate some of the more controversial requirements in its climate disclosure proposal. Of course, we’re talking Scope 3.  (See this PubCo postthis PubCo post and this PubCo post.). To be sure, this news doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Even a year ago, the SEC floated the idea that, in response to concerns regarding potential litigation (among other things), it may well pare down and loosen up some of its proposed rules on climate disclosure.

In this article in Politico and this article in the WSJ, “three people familiar with the matter” and “people close to the agency” told reporters that SEC Chair Gary Gensler was “considering scaling back a potentially groundbreaking climate-risk disclosure rule that has drawn intense opposition from corporate America.”   But at that point, according to Politico, SEC officials stressed that “no decision has yet been made.” (See this PubCo post.) Reuters is now reporting that, according to “people familiar with the matter”—are they the same people, I wonder?—among the requirements the SEC plans to scrap in the final rules is the requirement to disclose Scope 3 GHG emissions.”

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