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SEC Approves Interpretive Guidance on Climate Change Disclosures

Published on: 27 Jan 2010

At today’s open meeting, the SEC voted 3-2 in favor of approving an interpretive release designed to act as a reminder that registrants should consider climate change matters as they prepare disclosure documents in compliance with SEC rules, just like any other material issues required under those rules.

The interpretive release highlights the rules that would require disclosure of material climate change matters, such as:

  • Regulation S-K, Items 101, 103, 303, and 503
  • Securities Act, Rule 408
  • Exchange Act, Rules 12b-20 and 10b-5

The interpretive release addresses 4 topics involving climate change matters that registrants should consider when assessing what information to provide under existing SEC disclosure requirements:

  • The impact of existing and potential litigation or regulation
  • The affect on the business of international accords and treaties related to climate change and governing greenhouse gas emissions
  • The actual and potential  indirect consequences of climate change related regulations or business trends (examples of indirect consequences are included in the release)
  • The actual and potential impacts of the physical effects of climate change on the business

For more information, see the press release (http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2010/2010-15.htm) on the SEC’s web site. The interpretive release will be posted on the SEC Web site shortly.

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