WASHINGTON, D.C. — The California State Assembly voted last night to require public and private companies with more than $1 billion in revenue to disclose greenhouse gas emissions up and down their value chain. Senate Bill 253 was one of two pending before the Assembly addressing climate risk disclosure obligations for companies doing business in the state. The second bill is expected to be voted on later this week. Both bills passed the state senate earlier this year. Clara Vondrich, senior policy council with Public Citizen’s Climate Program, issued the following statement:
“For the nation to check the climate crisis, the first step is transparency on how our biggest emitters are navigating the energy transition: Are emissions going up, down, or staying the same? This legislation will let the public and regulators track companies’ decarbonization progress and hold them accountable to their climate promises. And it will let investors safeguard their savings against climate-related risks and invest in ways that align with their values. We look forward to the Assembly’s swift passage of companion bill SB 261 over the next few days, and the Governor signing both bills into law. Together, these bills will represent the most significant climate-related financial risk disclosure in the world – outpacing Europe’s standards finalized in July.
“California’s legislation includes disclosure of emissions associated with its upstream and downstream activities, known as Scope 3 emissions. When it becomes law, consumers will have access to vital background on the impact a company’s supply chain has on the climate crisis. For the first time, Big Oil will be required to disclose publicly the deep and ongoing impact it has on global warming.
“As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prepares to finalize its long-awaited climate risk disclosure rule, it must not back away from its commitment to require Scope 3 disclosures. Perhaps no other piece of information is more important to fulfill its core mandate to protect investors and maintain fair and orderly markets. The California law will cover a sizable percentage of the public market, but the SEC proposal is critical to covering other large companies.”
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