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n March, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rule that mandates small farms disclose climate-related information if they wish to do business with public companies. The proposed rule, called “Enhanced and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors,” would require registrants to share specific “information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition.”
Put simply, farmers and ranchers would need to allocate substantial resources and significant time to track environmental data.
“I am pleased to support today’s proposal because, if adopted, it would provide investors with consistent, comparable, and decision-useful information for making their investment decisions,” said SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in a statement. “I believe the SEC has a role to play when there’s this level of demand for consistent and comparable information that may affect financial performance. Today’s proposal thus is driven by the needs of investors and issuers.”
Critics contend that the recommendation would potentially block farmers from working with public firms since these outfits do not possess compliance resources and departments like large corporations.
More than 100 Republican and Democratic House members sent a letter (pdf) to Gensler, accusing the SEC of having “overstepped its bounds” and that the proposed rule would result in “devastating effects on our farmers.”