U.S. SEC chairman makes pitch for climate rule to corporate group

By Douglas Gillison and Isla Binnie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Establishing rules for U.S. companies to follow when reporting their impacts on the environment would help them avoid the confusion of trying to use foreign frameworks, Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said on Thursday.

Gensler told an event held by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that he hoped an eventual rule on reporting carbon footprints, which was first proposed more than a year ago and received some 16,000 comments, would survive any legal challenges.

“I think for … corporate America, a rule, if we are able to finalise it, it would be best if it’s sustained in court,” Gensler said.

Other jurisdictions are making their own rules, but “they have a different law, and we are not solving for their law”.

“Maybe this is just my pitch to corporate America,” Gensler added.

The SEC rule was originally expected to be finalised earlier this year. Many lawyers and market observers expect lawsuits in the United States from critics who say the rule is too rigid and would force companies to make too many complex disclosures.

(Reporting by Douglas Gillison and Isla Binnie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)