Analysis

Debate Intensifies Over SEC's Climate Disclosure Authority

By Al Barbarino (April 5, 2022, 9:24 PM EDT) -- As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rakes in hundreds of comment letters in response to its controversial proposal to require more climate risk-related disclosures from public companies, a central element of the debate is raging on: whether the agency has the authority to impose the rules in the first place.

In a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler on Tuesday, a group of 19 Republican senators argued public companies already have to disclose "material" risks and the agency lacks the legal authority to require nonmaterial disclosures.

"It is unclear from where the SEC has derived this drastic change in authority," the senators wrote. "The SEC is...

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