Investors and businesses are continuing to patiently twiddle their thumbs waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate disclosure rule to finally be released. SEC Chair Gary Gensler is not making the wait seem any shorter, as he continues to highlight the many obstacles facing the rule, often sending mixed messages.

Earlier this month, Gensler mentioned that lawsuits were almost certainly on the horizon for the proposed rule but noted that the Commission is actively “working to craft a rule that holds up to judicial scrutiny.” He also stated that the SEC is “not a climate regulator” nor “a climate risk regulator.” If he believes what he says there is no reason why the SEC would continue down this perilous path.

The rule would have hard-hitting impacts on businesses of all sizes, forcing them to track their climate impacts up and down the value chain – commonly referred to as Scope 3 emissions. But this portion of the rule could be heavily watered down given its unfeasible and often unreliable reporting nature.

As the clock continues to tick down with no real end in sight, investors and businesses are now left even more confused than they were before. There are many questions that need to be answered including the makeup of the final rule, the projected release date, and the most important question of whether it will survive court scrutiny. 

Gary Gensler, investors and businesses are ready for more answers and less rhetoric. If you listen to the thousands of comments that were submitted during the public comment period, you would know that not many people have an interest in seeing this rule come to fruition.

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