SEC says climate change disclosure a priority

The SEC plans to focus on climate change disclosure requirements once it completes working on corporate compensation disclosure proposals, said spokesman John Nester in a statement today.

“This is an area of great interest and we intend to focus on it,” he said in his statement.

His comment came in response to a letter sent last week by 41 institutional investors, urging the SEC to require corporations to disclose climate change and other environmental and social risks.

“As fiduciaries with a long-term view of capital appreciation that must meet the interests of multiple generations of beneficiaries, we have concluded that seeking, interpreting, and integrating such (environmental, social and governance) information into our investment decision-making process is becoming ever more necessary and prudent,” the letter said.

Representatives of the Florida State Board of Administration, California Public Employees' Retirement System, California State Teachers' Retirement System, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, New Jersey Division of Investment, and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church were among those signing the letter.

The appeal was coordinated by the Investor Network on Climate Risk, whose members include major public pension funds and which is directed by Ceres, a coalition of investors, and environmental and other public-interest groups working with companies to address environmental issues.