The SEC is looking to propose rules on environmental, social, and governance reporting by public companies after gathering feedback this summer from investors and others, Chairman Gary Gensler said.
Gensler didn’t lay out a specific timeline for ESG rulemaking while speaking at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Thursday. But the Securities and Exchange Commission wants to “bring some consistency and comparability” to what companies report, he said.
The agency is gathering input on a variety of topics, including possible corporate disclosures on greenhouse gas emissions and risks from climate change, as well as the possibility of an ESG standard setter. A few dozen comment letters have come in so far, and many more are expected.
Gensler’s remarks came after a senior SEC official said last week the agency will move ahead quickly on rulemaking following the conclusion of a June 13 public comment period on potential ESG regulations.
The SEC’s proactive approach on potential climate disclosures and other ESG matters has drawn concern from Republicans, including the SEC’s two GOP commissioners, who have questioned whether the agency is straying from its core mission. Gensler and other SEC officials say there is strong investor demand for companies to be more transparent.
“It’s important,” the chairman told lawmakers. “It’s within the authority and the mission of the SEC to enhance this disclosure.”