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02/04/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2019 14:45

Westlaw Journal Publishes Akin Gump Article on Public Company Climate-Related Disclosure Requirements

Westlaw Journal Corporate Officers & Directors Liability has published the article 'It's 2019. Is it time to disclose climate-related information?' written by Akin Gump environment and natural resources partner Stacey Mitchell, litigation partner Peter Altman, corporate partner Garrett DeVries, and environment and natural resources consultant Kenneth Markowitz. The article presents a comprehensive guide to the responsibilities and risks that public companies face in making climate-related decisions and disclosures.

The authors begin by observing that public companies across the globe are facing 'mounting pressure to make climate-related disclosures in their annual corporate reports and through other forums.' The pressure, they write, comes from investors, regulators, shareholders and limited partners.

The article then turns to the various disclosure requirements seen in different jurisdictions. It first looks at U.S. federal law, and then at state, local and private sector actions, before turning to disclosure requirements in foreign jurisdictions.

Finally, the authors discuss the commitments being made by global entities 'to increase their efforts to improve climate-related financial reporting,' supporting, for example, implementation of the Paris climate accord. In the end, they advise that, while 'the many differing frameworks can at times conflict with one another and may not directly align with legal requirements, … approaching climate-related disclosures and choosing the appropriate framework entails weighing the many risks and benefits of disclosure, particularly in the context of voluntary disclosures.'