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Regulation White Collar Crime

Climate Change Risk and Disclosure: A New Focus for SEC Enforcement

Given the massive amount of dollars being poured into ESG funds and the SEC’s renewed focus on both the funds and the companies in the funds, there is no time like the present for companies to engage in an assessment of their climate risks and how these risks and the status of the companies’ ESG goals are being relayed to investors.

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At a time when climate change has been referred to by the President of the United States as our “existential crisis,” and investors are pouring trillions of dollars into green, sustainable funds, more and more companies and investment funds are touting their climate and environmental bona fides. In April of this year, Mastercard announced that it was going to link all employee bonuses to meeting ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals. See, “Mastercard (MA) to Tie All Employee Bonuses to Meeting ESG Goals,” Bloomberg (April 19, 2022). Similarly, in March of this year, Goldman Sachs announced that directors at companies in which Goldman invests who fail to provide sufficient climate risk disclosure are at risk of being voted out by Goldman.

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