Climate Change Risks: Corporate Disclosure Requirements

Navigating the Groundbreaking SEC Guidance to Meet Corporate Reporting Obligations

New guidance issued Jan. 27

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss the SEC's new guidance for corporate disclosure of material climate change risks and provide best practices for meeting the new requirements and expectations.


The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted new interpretive guidance on Jan. 27, 2010, that clarifies the information public companies must disclose to shareholders about the impacts of climate change on their business operations. The SEC stated there are four topics companies should evaluate.

When drafting their disclosures, companies should evaluate the impact of climate change legislation, regulation and international accords; the actual and potential physical effects of climate change; and the actual and potential indirect consequences of climate change regulation.

Companies currently preparing their Form 10-K annual reports should carefully review and understand the SEC’s new interpretive guidance to ensure compliance with the disclosure requirements.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental law attorneys examines the new SEC guidance, discusses the significance of the guidance, in terms of what it states and what it may signal, and offers strategies to meet new disclosure requirements and expectations.



  1. SEC Guidance
    1. Disclosure requirements
    2. Areas where climate change may trigger disclosure requirements
  2. Strategies for meeting disclosure requirements
    1. Internal controls and procedures relating to climate change
    2. Voluntary v. mandatory climate risk reporting
    3. Determining what risks should be disclosed
    4. Developing policies and procedures to inform management and directors regarding climate issues
  3. Other related trends
    1. Recent settlements with New York Attorney General


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What areas does the guidance highlight as examples of where climate change may trigger disclosure requirements?
  • What climate change risks are companies required to disclose under current state and federal laws and regulations?
  • When does climate change risk constitute new "material" risks and opportunities for companies that require reporting under current SEC regulations?
  • What steps can companies and counsel take to minimize the risk that more extensive disclosures will expose them to in civil litigation?


Jeffrey A. Smith
Jeffrey A. Smith

Cravath Swaine & Moore

His practice encompasses environmental matters relating to financings, underwritings and mergers and acquisitions in...  |  Read More

Jim Coburn
Jim Coburn

Senior Program Manager

He works with institutional investors to improve corporate environmental practices, organizes training workshops for...  |  Read More

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