Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Task Force’s Report A Step in the Right Direction for Improving Corporate Disclosure of Long-Term Sustainability Information
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Task Force’s Report A Step in the Right Direction for Improving Corporate Disclosure of Long-Term Sustainability Information

Washington, D.C. — Andy Green, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released a report calling for additional disclosure of climate-related information by companies.

The TCFD’s report is an important step toward empowering financial markets to align themselves with the long-term economy and the public interest in a livable climate, as well as protect against potential future financial shocks. Regulators—namely, the Securities and Exchange Commission—need to take action to ensure this and other enhanced disclosures are adopted quickly, with consistency, comparability, and accountability. These disclosures should conform to the long-standing robust approach to materiality that is the hallmark of U.S. capital markets.

Just last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission solicited public comment on how it should improve corporate issuers’ disclosure requirements, and the overwhelming response was for more and better information about the environment and climate change—in addition to taxes, political spending, human capital and workforce issues, human rights, and financial stability risks. It’s time for Chairman Clayton to take action and lead the SEC to modernize its rules for the best interests of investors, the markets, and the world.

In September 2016, nine groups—the AFL-CIO; Americans for Financial Reform; the Center for American Progress; Ceres; the Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition; the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable; The Patriotic Millionaires; Public Citizen; and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment—joined together to urge the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen corporate disclosure requirements. The call for greater disclosure comes in response to then-SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative to identify and reform such requirements, and the SEC’s Concept Release, which asked for public feedback on the frequency and formats of companies’ disclosures, accounting practices and standards, and the substantive areas that should be disclosed.

The coalition’s report analyzed the more than 26,000 comments received in response to the SEC’s concept release, finding that commenters expressed clear support for expanded and enhanced disclosures.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6331.