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AGC Comments on Possible Changes to Climate Disclosures

June 24, 2021

Learn more at July 20-22 virtual conference, free to AGC members

A recent Executive Order on climate risk demonstrates the priority the Biden Administration is giving to climate change and appears to be accelerating efforts by federal financial regulators to adopt new, climate risk-related regulations.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested public input on company disclosure of information associated with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and climate change risks, impacts, and opportunities.  AGC’s June 11 letter offers key principles for the SEC to consider: 1) support of voluntary and flexible, market-based disclosures; 2) adherence to the Supreme Court’s “materiality” standard and existing rules; 3) base disclosures on sound data and a workable framework for companies of different sizes and industries; and 4) set boundaries on the scope of reporting and limits on legal liability.

Broadly speaking, President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk, maps out a government-wide strategy on climate risk disclosure and asks key federal agencies to consider climate risk in government oversight and spending.  SEC Chair Gensler has said that he anticipates a proposal on corporate climate risk disclosures later this year.  Also of note to construction, EO 14030 directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) to consider amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require major federal government contractors to disclose greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and to set emission-reduction targets. FARC also is directed to consider climate change risk in its procurement decisions, giving preferences to contracts with lower emissions.

Agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have already started to take steps in furtherance of the initial EO 14008Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, issued early this year – placing particular focus on current and historic environmental justice (EJ) issues via the new White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council and the development of a Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and EJ scorecard. 

Learn More at July 20-22 Virtual Conference

Corporate environmental transparency, climate reporting, and ESG are all being discussed today in board rooms and within federal and state governments.  Join AGC at the 2021 Construction Safety, Health & Environmental Virtual Conference where two policy experts address what information is required now by law and what policymakers are considering adding.  Learn what ESG means, and how it may differ by industry or company. Hear about standards or tools that are available to help your company. Check out the agenda for more details on sessions, speakers, and networking opportunities. Register today (free to AGC members).

For more information, contact AGC’s Leah Pilconis at leah.pilconis@agc.org.

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