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Opinion
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.