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Nir Kaissar

SEC’s Climate Rules Are No Environmental Crusade

The proposed disclosure requirements only seek information that investors want. 

No, this isn’t the SEC.

No, this isn’t the SEC.

Photographer: Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images 

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules on Monday that would require publicly traded companies to disclose a variety of climate-related risks and metrics, including greenhouse gas emissions. The reason is plain: Investors want more information about how companies are dealing with climate change, and it’s the SEC’s job to get it for them. 

But not everyone sees it that way. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Jay Clayton, the former SEC chair and my former colleague at Sullivan & Cromwell, and Patrick McHenry, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, argued that the proposed climate rules are less about disclosure and more about dictating climate policy, a job that should be left to Congress.