The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering requirements for public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions in response to investor demands for greater transparency, a top official said.
The SEC is thinking about the extent to which companies should report their direct emissions, known as Scope 1 emissions, said John Coates, acting director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.
“Investors already want it,” said Coates, who would play a leading role in drafting any new SEC requirements. “They already price Scope 1 into stock prices.”
His remarks at an American Bar Association conference Wednesday came as the SEC is seeking input from the public about how to handle possible corporate disclosures on greenhouse gas emissions and create other environmental, social, and governance reporting requirements.
The SEC will look to what companies already are providing voluntarily in response to their investors’ requests as it crafts any new ESG disclosure rules or guidance, Coates said.
“We’re not going to be trying to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “We’re not climate scientists.”