June 9, 2022

SEC Chair Gensler and SEC Commissioner Peirce Square-Off on Climate Disclosure Policy

In remarks before the SEC Investor Advisory Committee, SEC Chair Gary Gensler and SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce squared off on climate-related risk disclosure policy, accounting for non-traditional financial information and investor protections.

SEC Chair Gensler argued the need for full, fair and truthful disclosure on all climate issues, stating that "the SEC has stepped in whenever there has been a significant need for the disclosure of information relevant to investors' decisions." He said disclosure requirements can address a wide range of topics and address a slew of potential risks, including risks as to climate change. He argued that the SEC has long required disclosure as to a variety of topics, including environmental disclosures.

SEC Commissioner Peirce questioned whether the proposed disclosure requirements for climate-related risk would fundamentally change the SEC's role in the economy. She suggested that the disclosure is not being provided to benefit investors, but rather to elicit a change in behavior from issuers.