US Chamber of Commerce sues SEC over climate risk disclosure rules

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 6:16 PM

(Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new rules that require public companies to report climate-related risks.

The business lobbying group joins a list of entities challenging the securities regulator over rules aimed to standardize climate-related company disclosures about greenhouse gas emissions, weather-related risks and how they are preparing for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“The final rule makes substantively harmful changes to 50 years of corporate governance precedent that will have implications well beyond this single rule,” said Tom Quaadman, executive vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness.

“The Commission undertakes rulemaking consistent with its authorities and laws governing the administrative process and will vigorously defend the final climate risk disclosure rules in court,” a SEC spokesperson said.

The rules finalized earlier this month were substantially diluted but drew a mixed response.

A major environmental group Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that the SEC arbitrarily stripped the final version of the rules.

On the other hand, Republican-led states and industry groups have already filed several lawsuits seeking to block the rules, but the Sierra Club’s case is the first to argue they are too weak.

(Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru)