Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts

Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.) wants to require corporations to disclose to the public and investors about how much they are contributing to climate change and what risks it causes their businesses.

Warren, seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2020, has largely built her political career on pushing progressive policies on corporate accountability, like her role launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

She proposed the Climate Risk Disclosure Act Friday to raise public awareness of how dependent companies are on fossil fuels and how the effects of climate change could hurt them.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would dictate the exact rules, but Warren’s bill spells out sweeping standards for the disclosures, including companies’ greenhouse gas emissions, their fossil fuel holdings, how climate policies would impact them and how climate effects like rising sea levels could hurt them.

“Climate change is a real and present danger — and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said in a statement.

“Investors need more information about climate-related risks so they can make the right decisions with their money,” she said. “Our bill will use market forces to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy — reducing the odds of an environmental and financial disaster without spending a dime of taxpayer money.”

Democratic Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide Key Senate Democrats unveil sweeping online privacy bill MORE (Hawaii), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Trump administration drops plan to face scan all travelers leaving or entering US Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide MORE (Mass), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Republicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members MORE (R.I.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhite House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers Bloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' Harris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day MORE (N.Y.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (Ore.) co-sponsored the legislation.

Many big companies such as oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP already make some public disclosures about their climate impacts and risks. But Warren's bill would expand those and mandate them.

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The legislation is very unlikely to pass while Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

But it nonetheless provides a clear statement of Warren’s policy position on corporate America’s role in climate change ahead of the 2020 campaign season, and potentially how she would seek to steer SEC policy as president.

The legislation has the support of former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreImpeachment can't wait Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign The Memo: Will impeachment hurt Democrats or Trump? MORE and environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace USA.

“Our addiction to fossil fuels has led to a ballooning sub-prime carbon bubble that threatens to strand assets in every sector of the American economy. Sen. Warren clearly understands this and is demonstrating strong leadership by introducing legislation to assess the financial risks of climate change and require that they be disclosed to the public,” Gore said in a statement.

Greens and Democrats have in recent years ramped up their efforts to increase corporate accountability for climate change and hold fossil fuel companies and their investors responsible.

Those efforts have largely focused on the courts, including lawsuits against big oil companies. But the cases have had, at best, mixed results in punishing firms.