March 6, 2024

Whitehouse Calls Out Watered Down SEC Climate Risk Disclosure Rule

U.S. Chamber of Commerce led opposition to emissions disclosure provisions

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today called out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for lobbying to water down a new climate risk disclosure rule approved today by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  In a change from the SEC’s draft rule, the final provision that was approved today does not direct companies to disclose Scope 3 emissions and substantially weakens disclosure requirements for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

“Climate change poses severe economic and business risks, as our dozen plus hearings in the Senate Budget Committee have documented in great detail.  Emissions reporting is the best way to measure a company’s transition risks and, like any other indicator of a company’s long-term health, it is material information for investors to consider.  While better than no rule at all, it is unfortunate that the SEC and other regulators continue to shy away from finalizing robust rules that would better protect investors, the economy, and the planet,” said Whitehouse.  “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied the SEC hard to water down this new rule and it has been widely reported that the Chamber is likely to challenge even this watered-down rule in court.  The Chamber continues to be a menace to climate safety, and any company that considers itself a responsible actor on climate should take a serious look at whether its trade associations are fueling climate and economic catastrophe.” 

Whitehouse has worked for years to expose the extent of the Chamber’s antics to kill climate change legislation and to urge member companies, many of which have positive internal climate policies, to reconsider funding for the lobbying organization.  Last month, Whitehouse and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) issued a letter to companies that are part of the Chamber’s so-called “Task Force on Climate Actions,” asking that members evaluate the Chamber’s long pattern of obstructing climate legislation and consider whether they should continue providing a green veneer for pro-fossil fuel lobbying and influence activities.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921