Climate change disclosure in financial reports will be a top priority for companies and investors, according to a report from Goldman Sachs about the SEC action this week to provide stronger interpretative guidance on such disclosure.
“The SEC's action raises the bar for companies with respect to the information investors can expect to receive regarding climate change,” wrote Michael A. Moran, vice president; Amy C. Semaya, associate; and Abby Joseph Cohen, president of the Global Markets Institute, Goldman Sachs, in the report, released Jan. 28.
Companies in their financial filings should consider disclosures on the potential impact of pending legislation and regulation on climate change and the actual and potential impacts of the physical effects of climate change on their business, they wrote in the report.
In a related matter, Rep. Edward Markey, speaking today at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, said he “fully expects the Senate and House of Representatives to produce a (clean energy regulation) bill for President Obama to sign by the end of the year,” according to a statement from the forum.
“The reason that I believe that will happen is that it is in our national security and long-term economic interests,” Mr. Markey said in the statement. ” A large part of the U.S. deficit results from importing oil from countries to which the United States should not be sending its capital,” the statement said, paraphrasing him.
Mr. Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., co-sponsored a 946-page clean-energy bill.
“If Congress cannot arrive at a comprehensive energy bill, President Obama has the executive authority to regulate greenhouse gases without legislation,” Mr. Markey said in the statement. “If we have legislation, it allows us to moderate the impact on consumers and industry.”
And separately, Northern Trust announced it had teamed with environmental data provider Trucost to offer climate and environmental analytics for pension funds and other institutional investors to measure the carbon footprint of investments.
The service, which began this month, “comes at a time of heightened awareness of the effects of carbon emissions on the environment,” including the SEC action, according to a Northern Trust statement.