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Green Groups Want Offsets Disclosed as Part of SEC’s Climate Rule

Corporate climate plans rely heavily on offsets, which may be giving companies the permission to pollute without compensating for the damages.

A dead giant sequoia tree after the Castle Fire in Sequoia National Forest, California, U.S.

A dead giant sequoia tree after the Castle Fire in Sequoia National Forest, California, U.S.

Photographer: David Swanson/Bloomberg

Environmental groups have called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to make offset purchases part of a wider climate rule that would force companies to disclose greenhouse-gas emissions.

Many had expected the SEC to unveil its climate rule by the end of last year. That timeline has now slipped to March, or even later. In a letter published Thursday, Sierra Club, Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund said disclosures about the offsets markets are a critical part of this because they have “significant environmental, accounting and social integrity problems” that jeopardize the climate pledges that companies have been making.