The US Securities and Exchange Commission has said that publically listed companies should warn investors of any serious risks that global warming might pose to their businesses. Previously, the agency has required companies to reveal possible financial or legal impacts from a range of environmental risks, however never before has it specifically cited climate change as bringing potentially significant business risks or rewards.

The new climate change disclosure obligation will result in companies needing to put in place infrastructure to determine whether risks need disclosed, and will require companies to find out whether and to what degree they are responsible for carbon emissions in their supply chains. Four areas will trigger disclosure requirements: legislation and regulations, international accords, indirect consequences of regulation and business trends, and physical impacts of climate change. To read the SEC guidance in full, click here.