BlackRock CEO Larry Fink reportedly advised Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler to “tone down” the strength of pending emissions disclosure rules, according to Fox News Business.
Fink’s reported suggestion refers to the SEC’s forthcoming final rules for public companies to disclose the direct and indirect carbon emissions attributable to their operations, known as scope one, two and three emissions. BlackRock is a leading firm in the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing movement, which considers other factors beyond the typical maximization of return on investment.
It is unclear where or when Fink may have made remarks to Gensler. Critics of ESG investing have sharply criticized the SEC’s proposed emissions disclosure rules, saying that they will do little to help counter climate change while bogging businesses down with paperwork hours and new costs.
The SEC proposed its scope one, two and three emissions disclosure rules in March 2022, and had initially planned to finalize them at some point in January before delaying it to this summer, according to Thomson Reuters. However, the agency punted on unveiling the final rules again in June, and is now expected to announce the rules at some point this fall.
California recently enacted its own version of a comprehensive corporate emissions disclosure law, which Jason Isaac told the Daily Caller News Foundation in August “appears to go even further than what the SEC has proposed.”
While some major corporations covered by the California law, such as Apple and Microsoft, supported the policy, according to Reuters, the California Chamber of Commerce ripped the legislation, saying that it “will burden California’s businesses by imposing onerous and unnecessary climate-related reporting requirements,” according to its website.
Neither BlackRock nor the SEC responded immediately to requests for comment.
Nick Pope on October 17, 2023