Biden Order Calls for Disclosure of Financial Risks of Climate Change
President Biden announced an Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, with wide-ranging transparency, disclosure and investment implications for investors, companies and regulators.
According to the White House, the executive order aims to help the federal government to address the climate crisis and mitigate the economic risks of climate change, beginning with the measurement and reporting of the financial impact of those risks.
These actions may move the U.S. significantly closer to the deployment of mandatory climate and sustainability disclosures by companies, which is currently under consideration by the SEC. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has recently expressed support for sustainability reporting initiatives, such as the TCFD climate reporting framework, and the IFRS initiative towards developing a climate disclosure standard, and has committed to working with the SEC on its review of sustainability reporting requirements. Such a move would also bring the U.S. in line with other jurisdictions’ mandated sustainability reporting rules, including the UK and European Union.