The Securities and Exchange Commission moved closer Friday to a final rule that would dramatically alter what public companies tell shareholders about climate change — both the risks it poses to their operations and their own contributions to the problem.
Public comment on the proposal has now closed, with more than 10,000 comments submitted since March by companies, auditors, trade groups, lawmakers, individuals and others.
Comments ranged from concerns about the costs involved for companies getting up to speed, the SEC’s authority to regulate such data and praise that the nation’s top financial regulator was moving to make mandatory the reporting of climate-risks data. If enacted, public companies in their annual reports and stock registration statements would have to report their greenhouse-gas emissions. The largest companies would also have to disclose emissions data related to their suppliers and reveal whether their climate-related risks are material to investors.