As the climate crisis intensifies, US environmental policy has moved dangerously backward, with nearly 70 environmental rules reversed during this administration., and 30 more reversals in the process.

This intransigent, head-in-the-sand approach will not alter the reality-of-climate change, nor the risks and opportunities it presents the economy. The private sector understands this.

Many large businesses and their investors, recognizing the urgency of the threat, are already attempting to protect their assets and investments from climate risks. As some continue to publicly question the science, they are shifting their capital to prepare for a future low-carbon economy.

They know that a significant percentage of the U.S. equity market, as much as 93 percent by one estimate, is already exposed to harms from climate change, with this year's intensified fire and hurricane seasons offering a devastating preview of more to come.

Bot investors and the broader public need clear information about how businesses are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and how they are managing - or not managing - climate risks internally.

Realistically, that can happen only through mandatory public disclosure. A recent report, ''Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System,'' by an advisory group to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned that a :

'' World wracked by frequent and devastating shocks from climate change cannot sustain the fundamental conditions supporting our financial system.''

The report emphasized that greater public disclosure of companies in-house risk calculations will be essential in helping governments [local and federal] as well as other businesses [large and small]  measure and manage their climate risks.

Financial regulators from around the globe, from New Zealand to the European Union, are beginning to require that this information be made public. As the report notes :

''Existing legislation already provides the U.S. financial regulators with wide ranging and flexible authorities that could be used to start addressing financial climate-related risk now,'' however, ''these authorities and tools are not being fully utilized.''

Indeed, some U.S. regulators have even blocked progress. That needs to change.

A core purpose of the Securities and Exchange Commission, where I serve, is to develop and enforce disclosure requirements for public companies rooted in the interests of investors and the public.

Outdated thinking is stopping us from reducing climate risk through strengthening disclosure.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Climate Risk and Regulators, continues, The World Students Society thanks author Allison Herren Lee.


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