Climate Policy News You Can Use — October 2023

Dear Colleagues,

The global backdrop to this month’s newsletter is somber, with a tragic war intensifying in the Middle East. Here in the U.S., legislation is mostly stalled until the House of Representatives elects a speaker, and a shutdown threat continues. Still, there are bright spots for climate progress, and important opportunities for business action and advocacy.

California passes climate disclosure laws in lead-up to SEC’s final rule

On October 7th, Governor Newsom signed into law two landmark bills related to disclosure of GHG emissions and climate-related risks (see EDF’s statement). Leading businesses signaled their support for the proposals through coalition letters in support of SB 261 and SB 253 and company statements (e.g., Google and Apple). This sends a strong message to policymakers that businesses value disclosure and the information it provides to employees, investors and other stakeholders.

Looking ahead, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is planning to release its final rule on climate-related financial disclosure later this year, though a shutdown could interfere with that timeline. It is vital for businesses that support disclosure to welcome the final rule upon its release.

  • Take Action:
    • Prepare to make a positive statement on the release of the SEC’s final rule. If you filed supportive comments with the SEC, reiterate the points of your letter publicly.
    • Work with other companies and your industry groups to show support for the final rule.
  • Go Deeper:
    • EDF’s legal and regulatory team are happy to talk to interested companies about why and how to support the final rule. Reach out to me if you’d like to have that conversation!

A new platform to accelerate net-zero action and advocacy

A big highlight from Climate Week was the launch of EDF’s Net Zero Action Accelerator (see press release). The free resource enables companies to create customized roadmaps to achieve net-zero emissions. It includes information about regulatory developments and Inflation Reduction Act incentives you can use to accelerate progress toward your net-zero goals. Already have a net-zero roadmap? Explore additional pathways to net zero and encourage companies in your supply chain to do the same.

  • Go Deeper:
    • Check out my colleague Elizabeth Sturcken’s article in Forbes explaining why we created the Net Zero Action Accelerator.
    • Explore the policy pathway and related action steps to reach your net-zero goals.

I want to hear from you!

What’s on your mind as you think about which policies to get behind in the coming months? Wondering what the California climate disclosure legislation and impending SEC rule will mean for you? What topics would you like to see covered in this newsletter? Reach out with your questions and comments!

As always, I welcome your feedback and thank you for reading. Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think might find it interesting. If someone forwarded it to you, you can subscribe here.