September 24, 2007
Environmental groups, including Environmental Defense, CERES and Friends of the Earth, joined with foundations, concerned investors and state officials from across the country in filing a landmark petition last week asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require publicly traded companies to assess and fully disclose their financial risks related to climate change. The 22 petitioners cite unequivocal scientific evidence along with widespread business recognition that the risks and opportunities corporations face as a result of climate change are material to shareholder investment decisions and should be disclosed under existing law.
The petition holds forth that climate risks and opportunities--such as physical risks associated with climate change that affect a company's operations or financial condition, financial risks and opportunities associated with present or probable greenhouse gas regulation, and legal proceedings relating to climate change--are just as relevant to investors as other types of information corporations must already disclose by law.
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