Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, proposed legislation Friday that would require companies to assess and disclose their exposure to risks created by climate change, drawing kudos from former Vice President Al Gore.
Ms. Warren said the Climate Disclosure Act was intended to give investors more information on the “real and present danger” of climate change.
“Climate change is a real and present danger—and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” said Ms. Warren in a statement.
“Investors need more information about climate-related risks so they can make the right decisions with their money,” she said. “Our bill will use market forces to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy—reducing the odds of an environmental and financial disaster without spending a dime of taxpayer money.”
The proposal would undoubtedly require publicly held companies to spend money in order to comply with a fresh set of regulations imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Under the bill, the SEC would issue rules ordering companies to report their greenhouse-gas emissions; fossil-fuel assets; the potential impact of climate change on their business, and their plans for responding to global-warming.
Mr. Gore cheered the proposal, saying that climate change “threatens to strand assets in every sector of the American economy.”
“Senator Warren clearly understands this and is demonstrating strong leadership by introducing legislation to assess the financial risks of climate change and require that they be disclosed to the public,” said Mr. Gore in a statement.
— Al Gore (@algore) September 14, 2018
Seven Senate Democrats were listed as cosponsors: Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Endorsing the bill were 29 environmental groups, led by the Sierra Club, which issued a statement saying the proposal would “help accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner and more efficient energy sources and reduce the risk of financial instability.”
The measure comes with Democratic attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York investigating whether ExxonMobil hid relevant climate-change research from investors and the public, which Exxon has denied.
Exxon, which is fighting the investigations, has accused the prosecutors of pursuing the “climate fraud” probes as part of a political agenda.
Last month, the SEC closed a two-year investigation into Exxon’s financial reporting on climate change with no enforcement action.
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Published at Fri, 14 Sep 2018 23:05:26 +0000