Polluter lobbying, conservative courts, and the Biden Administration all played a role.

by Arielle Samuelson, Heated

Toxic waste from human hands Industries that create pollution and cities that are affected by pollution.

All that was set to change when the most powerful financial regulatory body in the country decided that the climate crisis was a “significant risk” too big to ignore. In 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a climate disclosure rule that would have forced public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions—from their direct emissions (also known as Scope 1 emissions), to emissions from their energy use (Scope 2), to emissions from their supply chain (Scope 3). It also would have required that companies report how climate change is impacting their bottom line.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, on Wednesday, the five-person SEC voted to adopt a climate disclosure rule that was significantly watered down. It is no longer mandatory for companies to report their emissions; instead it says that companies should disclose their greenhouse gas emissions if they consider them “material”—in other words, of significant importance to their investors. It made no mention of Scope 3 emissions, which are the largest portion of any company’s pollution. (For example, 80 percent of Exxon’s emissions are Scope 3).

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