Former Treasury Chiefs Tell SEC to Crack Down on Climate – Scientific American

Three former Treasury secretaries say firms are not giving investors honest information

Federal law requires companies to tell investors about risks that may significantly affect their business. Still, public companies’ financial statements often are vague, and multiple firms are known to use verbatim answers when explaining how a given risk relates to their operations. Credit: Sam Valadi via Flickr

Three former secretaries of the U.S. Treasury yesterday forcefully urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to manage financial disclosures related to climate change.

In a letter to the SEC, the bipartisan trio of secretaries Henry Paulson (R), Robert Rubin (D) and George Shultz (R) applauded the agency for issuing in 2010 a blueprint to help businesses explain how climate change affects them. But, they said, that measure isn’t enough.

“We recommend that the Commission now move to promote and enforce mandatory and meaningful disclosures of the material effects of climate change on issuers,” they wrote.

Paulson, Rubin and Shultz, all members of climate research group the Risky Business Project, said investors deserve to know how the private sector is preparing for climate change hazards.

Federal law requires companies to tell investors about risks that may significantly affect their business. Still, public companies’ financial statements often are vague, and multiple firms are known to use verbatim answers when explaining how a given risk relates to their operations.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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