SEC Approves Reduced GHG Emissions Disclosure Requirements

By Patricia Miller


SEC's climate-disclosure rules provide retail investors with transparency on companies' environmental impact, aiding risk assessment and value-aligned investments.

The image presents silhouetted figures in front of a night-time cityscape with futuristic skyscrapers. Below is a display panel that appears to show environmental data related to the buildings' operations.
SEC Approves Reduced Climate Disclosure Requirements Despite Industry Lobbying

What You Need To Know

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved new climate-disclosure requirements for companies, marking an important step in addressing climate change. However, the requirements have been watered down after industry groups lobbied heavily against certain measures. The most significant change is that companies will not be forced to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from their supply chains or customers (known as Scope 3 emissions). Additionally, companies will face a higher threshold for disclosing direct carbon footprints in their regulatory filings (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions).

The SEC's final regulations aim to provide federal baseline requirements for discussing climate-related risks and opportunities, making it easier for investors to compare environmental impacts across firms. However, the regulations are less stringent than those in California and the European Union. The SEC's rule has received mixed reactions, with environmental advocates criticizing the omission of Scope 3 emissions disclosures, while business groups argue that the additional disclosures could overwhelm investors. Legal challenges from both industry groups and environmental activists may follow.

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Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Enhanced Transparency: The SEC's climate-disclosure requirements provide retail investors with increased transparency into a company's environmental impact.

  2. Risk Assessment: The climate disclosures enable retail investors to assess the potential risks and opportunities associated with climate change for a company's business strategy. This information allows investors to gauge how well a company is positioned to navigate the evolving landscape of climate-related challenges.

  3. Comparative Analysis: The standardized disclosure requirements make it easier for retail investors to compare the environmental impact of different companies within the same industry. This comparative analysis can assist investors in identifying companies that are proactively managing climate change risks and aligning with sustainable practices.

  4. Value Alignment: Climate-disclosure rules empower retail investors to align their investments with their personal values and beliefs regarding environmental sustainability. Investors who prioritize companies with strong environmental practices can utilize this information to ensure their investment choices reflect their principles.

  5. Long-Term Performance: A company's ability to effectively manage climate-related risks and opportunities can have a significant impact on its long-term financial performance. This information aids in making investment decisions that align with long-term financial goals.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Ethical Investing

Retail investors can use climate-disclosure information to identify companies that align with their ethical values and prioritize sustainable practices.

Ethical investing prioritizes a company's social and environmental impact, aligning investments with the investor's personal values.

Value Investing

By analyzing climate-related risks and opportunities disclosed by companies, retail investors can identify undervalued companies with solid long-term sustainability prospects.

Value investing searches for undervalued companies that trade for less than their intrinsic values, with the expectation that they will eventually be recognized by the market.

Growth Investing

Climate disclosures can help identify companies that are well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for sustainable solutions, offering potential for long-term growth.

Growth investing focuses on stocks of companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to other stocks in the market; learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.

Dividend Investing

Investors can consider climate-disclosure information to assess the sustainability of a company's dividend payouts and identify companies with a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Dividend investing targets companies that regularly distribute a portion of their earnings to shareholders as dividends.

Sector Rotation

Climate-disclosure data can assist retail investors in identifying sectors or industries that are proactive in managing climate-related risks, allowing for strategic sector rotation based on sustainability factors.

Sector Rotation is the practice of shifting investment capital from one industry sector to another to take advantage of the economic cycle.

Read What Others Are Saying

Bloomberg: SEC Scales Back New Pollution-Disclosure Rules for Companies

FT: 'Sued on both sides': SEC braces for lawsuits from supporters and critics of climate rule

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What you should read next:

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Some investors prefer to invest in stocks via an exchange-traded fund for ease and reduced risk. Some popular ETFs include the following:

  • Large-Caps: Vanguard Mega Cap ETF (MGC)

  • Mid-Caps: Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (VO)

  • Small-Caps: Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB)

  • Growth: iShares Core S&P U.S. Growth ETF (IUSG)

  • Value: iShares Core S&P US Value ETF (IUSV)

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This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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