California Bills Would Give Investors, Consumers and Other Stakeholders Key Information About Companies’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Jan 30, 2023 4:45 PM ET
Smoking industrial complex above field

January 30, 2023 /3BL Media/ - Ceres welcomes the introduction of two bills in the California Senate that would give investors, consumers, and other stakeholders far more insight into companies’ efforts to address the financial risks of the climate crisis.

Unveiled today, the two bills — the Corporate Climate Data Accountability Act (Wiener) and Climate-Related Risk Disclosure Act (Stern) — would respectively require companies operating in California to report their greenhouse gas emissions from across their supply and value chains, and to report their climate-related risks in line with leading standards that have long been used voluntarily by major businesses.

“Investors are demanding more information about companies’ climate risks, impacts, and transition plans, because they know that companies have a fiduciary duty to mitigate the considerable financial risks of the climate crisis and take advantage of the economic opportunities in confronting this challenge. What’s more, leading companies increasingly support disclosure requirements, because they recognize they have a better opportunity to attract capital by showing they are taking the climate crisis seriously,” said Steven Rothstein, managing director for the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets. “With the federal government on the verge of requiring climate disclosure for public companies, these California bills demonstrate the growing momentum for mandatory climate disclosure. And they show that states can play a key role by broadening disclosure about this critical financial risk across their own economies.”

The bills would complement the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule requiring climate disclosure for public companies, as well as the global standards expected to be finalized this year by the IFRS’ International Sustainability Standards Board.

They also signal the continued momentum for disclosure rules worldwide. In 2021, nearly 800 companies worldwide called on leaders of G20 nations to mandate corporate climate disclosure. And last year, more than 500 investors representing $39 trillion in assets under management called on governments across the world to strengthen climate disclosure standards, including through mandatory reporting, as part of the 2022 Global Investor Statement.

Because the California bills would apply to both public and private companies over certain revenue thresholds it would broaden the coverage of companies required to provide information beyond the SEC’s proposed disclosure standards.

Previous iterations of the California bills have attracted support from several major companies – including Avocado Green Brands, Grove Collaborative, IKEA USA, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co — and investors representing tens of billions of dollars in assets under management, such as Boston Common Asset Management, Brunel Pension Partnership, ClearBridge Investments, Impax Asset Management, and Trillium Asset Management.

In a 2022 letter to lawmakers, the investors noted that it is not enough to accept voluntary climate disclosure from some companies because participation is limited and existing disclosures do not provide “comprehensive, decision-useful information needed to ensure a sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future.”

Ceres, a nonprofit focused on the economic and financial risks around climate and sustainability, has championed climate disclosure initiatives for decades. Its work has included the development of a standardized global sustainability reporting framework in 1997, the mobilization of investors in support of voluntary SEC reporting guidance in 2010, and ongoing efforts to support and help shape the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule, which is expected to be finalized early this year. Ceres has also supported California lawmakers in their push for climate disclosure in recent years.

“California will soon be the world’s fourth largest economy, and between torrential storms to ravaging wildfires, it is feeling the effects of climate change with greater intensity each year,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior director of state policy, Ceres. “Stakeholders across the economy — including investors, consumers, workers, and communities — have every reason to know what companies are doing to address these impacts and keep the state’s economy strong. We urge the legislature to pass both bills and look forward to working with investors, companies, and lawmakers to turn these bills into law this year.”

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Helen Booth-Tobin