As the new year begins, people often take the time to reflect on the past 12 months and rid themselves of certain things they do not wish to take with them into the New Year. However, one thing that will still be looming over the heads of investors and public companies is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate disclosure rule.

Since March 2022, the SEC has been pushing its proposed climate rule through countless hoops in hopes that a final rendition of the rule would be released in October 2023. The rule requires all public companies to track and disclose their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. For many, indirect emissions tracking is nearly impossible to do. And the cost would be astronomical.

The SEC’s proposed rule has been released for just shy of two years, causing widespread criticism and worry for the people and businesses who will bear the biggest impact. But, after continual delays and controversy, let’s take a look back at the timeline of the rule in 2023:

  • April 2023: The SEC’s second indication of a release of a final version of the rule.
  • April 2023: The SEC announces that investors should expect a final rule by October 2023.
  • October 2023: The SEC’s third indication of a release of a final version of the rule.
  • November 2023: SEC considers taming climate ambitions of Scope 3 emissions tracking.
  • December 2023: The SEC releases rulemaking agenda, projecting final rule in Q1 2024.

Now, 2024 has kicked off in full swing and there is still no end in sight for the inconsistencies that the SEC continues to wrestle with. In fact, experts have even concluded that the earliest the public may see a rule at this point could be anywhere within this first quarter of 2024, with implementation of the rule set for 2025.

The SEC’s New Year’s resolution should be to drop this rule.

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