The SEC is launching an enforcement task force to focus on climate and ESG issues, the agency said Thursday.
The initial focus will be looking for material gaps or misstatements as issuers disclose climate risks, a Securities and Exchange Commission release said. The task force will also scrutinize ESG strategies of investment advisers and funds for disclosure and compliance issues.
The Climate and ESG Task Force will work closely with other SEC divisions, including corporation finance, investment management and examinations. It will be led by acting deputy enforcement director Kelly L. Gibson, who said the approach is part of the SEC's mission to proactively address emerging disclosure gaps.
On Wednesday, the examinations division outlined its 2021 priorities, promising a closer focus on climate-related risks. That will include seeing if business continuity plans account for the growing physical and other relevant risks associated with climate change, and reviewing proxy voting policies and practices.
"Climate risks and sustainability are critical issues for the investing public and our capital markets," acting Chairwoman Allison Herren Lee said in the release.