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Climate 2023
SEC Disclosure Requirements for Scope 3 Emissions

We expect the final ruling on SEC Climate Disclosures to be published in the first half of 2023. It centers around the disclosure of Scope 3 emissions, i.e., emissions from corporate supply chains. We discuss the complexity of data collection, which will ensure long lead times for implementations, especially for smaller companies. The ruling will be challenged in court, most likely under the new precedence of the recent West Virginia v. EPA case that saw the EPA lose its ability to regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. People opposing the Scope 3 emissions proposal argue that if Congress did not give the EPA sufficient guidance and authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, they must have given even less to the SEC. The counterargument is that Congress has given the SEC a responsibility for disclosing material risks. The SEC is aware of the potential challenges and believes it can withstand them. What does the final ruling look like regarding the legal and data collection complexity of Scope 3 disclosures? It will be one of the most pertinent accounting issues facing US public companies in the next five years.

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Todd. O. Maiden is a partner at Reed Smith. He has been a member of the firm's Energy and Natural Resources practice group for over 30 years. Michael Littenberg is a Senior Partner at Ropes & Gray LLP. He is the Global Head of ESG and CSR in Business and Human Rights practice at the firm.



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