SEC Environmental Disclosures?

by Erin McCune on March 21, 2007

in Caught My Eye, Financial Reporting, Regulatory Environment

Earth
CFO.com reports that a diverse group of institutional investors, government treasurers and controllers, and corporations is calling for federal legislation and SEC clarification to help address global warming.

Excerpt from story at CFO.com:

"Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for U.S.
businesses and investors," said Fred R. Buenrostro, chief executive
officer of Calpers, in a statement. "To tap American ingenuity and
drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we
need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur
innovation."

Companies in sectors such as electric power, oil, and automotive may
face high financial risks from carbon-reducing regulations if they are
not prepared to act, according to the group. Insurance companies and
businesses with infrastructure in places vulnerable to extreme weather
events also face financial exposure.

Climate change presents significant economic opportunities, the
group also maintained, for those businesses that invest in new
technologies and products to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.

The group's call for action included:

  • leadership by the U.S. government to reduce the 1990 levels of
    greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent to 90 percent by 2050, to avoid
    widely forecast "worst case scenarios"
  • a national policy that includes, whenever possible, mandatory
    market-based solutions, such as a cap-and-trade system, that establish
    an economywide carbon price, allow for flexibility, and encourage
    innovation
  • realignment of national energy and transportation policies to
    stimulate research, development, and deployment of new and existing
    clean technologies at the scale necessary to achieve those greenhouse
    gas reductions
  • clarification from the Securities and Exchange Commission of what
    climate-change disclosures should be included by companies in their
    regular financial reporting

Read more:

Will the SEC Demand "Green" Disclosures?
Stephen Taub and Dave Cook, CFO.com
March 21, 2007

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