Aerial view of a bridge running over a body of water supported by a small land mass

On Feb. 24, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) released a statement committing the Commission to enhancing its focus on climate-related disclosures in public company filings.[1] The Acting Chair of the Division of Corporation Finance will lead the Commission in an analysis over the current state of public company climate-related disclosures. This analysis will include reviewing the extent to which public companies address the climate-related disclosure topics identified in the 2010 guidance and assessing overall compliance by issuers with disclosure requirements.

The issued statement acknowledges both the lack of comparable environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and the rising demand for enhanced climate-related disclosures. Further, the Commission signals anticipated updates to disclosure guidance and the SEC's commitment to directing clarity and uniformity in the ESG reporting landscape.

In recent years, climate-related issues have become a powerful topic of discussion among stakeholders and will continue to encourage further research and development. While the timeline for change remains unknown, we expect expansion to regulatory guidance and requirements, collaborative knowledge share input around climate-related risk impacts and increased push for disclosure compliance in a unified effort to address climate change.

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[1] Statement on the Review of Climate-Related Disclosure. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Feb. 24, 2021.

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