Climate Change And The SEC

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Two developments yesterday (a speech, and a Sunshine Act Notice), highlight the subject of Climate Change and the SEC.

Changing Climate At The SEC
In remarks yesterday at the 37th annual Securities Regulation Institute, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro highlighted some of the key initiatives in the SEC's agenda. Schapiro's remarks, entitled Embracing the Change, reflected the change in climate at the SEC and in financial regulatory reform more generally, in the post-credit crisis, post-Madoff environment.

She stated, "With new leaders throughout the agency, new skills and capabilities, we have been changing the way we think about our core responsibilities to the American people. And, change is manifesting itself in many of the things we do — from how we conduct our exams and initiate investigations to how we prosecute our cases. In the process, we also have been changing and updating the rules we enforce, re-thinking some of the basic tenets of securities regulation and actively participating in the reforms now wending their way through Congress. I believe that all of this change is necessary and urge all of us to embrace it — not just that which is coming but that which has already arrived." She then outlined some of the significant areas of focus for the SEC. 

Climate Change Interpretive Release Coming
According to SEC's News Digest (Jan. 20) and a Sunshine Act Notice released yesterday, climate change disclosures will be among two matters the SEC will act on at an open commission meeting next week. Specifically, according to the Sunshine Act Notice, the SEC will discuss on Jan. 27:

  • Item 1: The Commission will consider a recommendation to adopt new rules, rule amendments, and a new form under the Investment Company Act of 1940 governing money market funds, to increase the protection of investors, improve fund operations, and enhance fund disclosures.
     
  • Item 2: The Commission will consider a recommendation to publish an interpretive release to provide guidance to public companies regarding the Commission's current disclosure requirements concerning matters relating to climate change.

SEC Updates Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI)
In other action yesterday, the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance published yesterday some new Q&A's as part of its Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations.

For more details on the three items above (highlights of Schapiro's speech, additional information about the climate change interpretive release, and the updates to the C&DI's), read more here.

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