Most US Public Companies Ignore Rule on Climate Risk Disclosure

September 25, 2013

In 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) required publicly traded companies to disclose to their stockholders (and the public) what business risks they might face from climate change. Almost three-quarters of the companies are still ignoring the rule, and their shareholders are flying blind.

Could a storm surge damage a coastal refinery? Would EPA carbon-capture rules spell disaster for utilities committed to new coal power plants? Would sea-level rise put coastal hotels and resorts under water? Would less irrigation water spell doom for agribusiness giants?

Retired database developer Lawrence Taylor pored over recent annual reports from 3,895 US companies and found that only 27 percent mentioned climate change or global warming at all.