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Ex-SEC Head Says Climate Disclosure Support Has ‘Skyrocketed’

Oct. 14, 2021, 11:00 AM

Never before have investors been as desperate for data on how exposed companies are to climate change, according to Mary Schapiro, the former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Demand for climate reporting is “at an all time high” and getting “more intense and sophisticated,” said Schapiro, who now heads the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. As a result, support for TCFD has “skyrocketed,” she said.

It’s the latest sign that climate change is altering the way in which investors measure value, as a hotter planet promises to reshape fortunes in the corporate world. For investors trying to identify likely winners and losers on the path toward a lower-carbon world, reliable data is key.

Endorsement of TCFD, which was established to help investors gauge companies’ preparedness for the energy transition, has soared by more than a third over the past year to 2,600 firms with a combined market capitalization of over $25 trillion, the group said on Thursday.

“Disclosure is foundational to the battle against climate change and the capital markets can be powerful forces in this fight,” Schapiro said.

“When markets have the information to accurately price the financial impacts of climate change, capital will shift towards businesses that prioritize climate resilience, transition and sustainability,” she said. “But this virtuous circle can’t happen without critical information on how companies are managing the effects of a warming planet.”

TCFD was founded in 2015 and is chaired by Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. Schapiro is vice chair for global public policy at Bloomberg LP. Several governments, including in the U.K. and New Zealand, have already announced plans to mandate climate-related financial disclosures aligned with the TCFD recommendations

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net

Tasneem Hanfi Brögger

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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