As investor demand for climate and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) information soars, the SEC is responding with an all-agency approach. Below are some recent actions:
In light of demand for climate change information and questions about whether current disclosures adequately inform investors, public input is requested from investors, registrants, and other market participants on climate change disclosure.
Today, I am directing the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate-related disclosure in public company filings. The Commission in 2010 provided guidance to public companies regarding existing disclosure requirements as they apply to climate change matters. As part of its enhanced focus in this area, the staff will review the extent to which public companies address the topics identified in the 2010 guidance, assess compliance with disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws, engage with public companies on these issues, and absorb critical lessons on how the market is currently managing climate-related risks.
Washington D.C., March 3, 2021 — The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations today announced its 2021 examination priorities, including a greater focus on climate-related risks. The Division will also focus on conflicts of interest for brokers (Regulation Best Interest) and investment advisers (fiduciary duty), and attendant risks relating to FinTech in its initiatives and examinations.
Washington D.C., March 4, 2021 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The task force will be led by Kelly L. Gibson, the Acting Deputy Director of Enforcement, who will oversee a Division-wide effort, with 22 members drawn from the SEC’s headquarters, regional offices, and Enforcement specialized units.
Funds such as mutual funds and ETFs that focus on environmental, social, and governance principles (ESG Funds) have gained popularity with investors over time. Investors may hear about these funds from financial professionals, from investment-focused online sites, or even from popular media.
The Division of Examinations is issuing this Risk Alert to highlight observations from recent exams of investment advisers, registered investment companies, and private funds offering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products and services.
Modified: April 9, 2021