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Litigation surrounding the SEC’s Climate-Related Disclosure Rules has been a rollercoaster so far and shows no signs of slowing down. The lawsuit can currently be divided into two main positions:

  1. The position of various businesses and the Chamber of Commerce arguing that the Climate-Related Disclosure Rules go too far and exceed the SEC’s statutory authority; and
  2. The position of The Sierra Club and the NRDC that the SEC’s final rule making did not go far enough and that the SEC should have required scope three disclosures.

Recently, the Chamber of Commerce moved to intervene in The Sierra Club’s challenge to the rule, on the side of the SEC. If the intervention is allowed by the court, this would mean that the Chamber of Commerce is both challenging the rule and defending it in the consolidated litigation. Cooley explains the confusion stating:  

“The Chamber of Commerce has moved for leave to intervene in the cases brought by the Sierra Club and the NRDC ‘to defend those portions of the final rule that refrained from imposing the additional disclosure requirements the environmental groups would have this Court require the SEC to impose. ‘The Sierra Club, the motion contends, ‘intends to argue that the SEC should have required public companies to disclose not only their own greenhouse-gas emissions, but also the emissions from the ‘use of [their] products’ and across their ‘supply chains’’; that is, that the SEC failed to impose a requirement to disclose Scope 3 GHG emissions.”

The Chamber of Commerce isn’t exactly pro-disclosure – they are just arguing against the Sierra Club’s position that the rule didn’t go far enough. The memo goes on to say that the Chamber of Commerce is attempting to intervene because they do not believe that the SEC adequately represents their interests in the litigation. The litigation is becoming increasingly complicated as large cases often do. Understanding where the battle lines are drawn and who is on whose side can be difficult in a case like this and just points to the size and complexity of the knot the 8th Circuit must untie. With moves like these abounding, it is unlikely that we’ll get any sort of resolution on the salient questions of the litigation anytime soon.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile