Gino DiCaro

Climate change reporting bill moves to Assembly floor

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Aug. 1, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Upon their return to business next week, the California Assembly is expected to consider SB 1550 (Dean Florez, D-Shafter), which would establish a disclosure standard for use by publicly held companies doing business in California that addresses "climate change" risks or opportunities.

While the legislation’s intent is to make it easier for companies to make such disclosures and to help investors make more informed decisions, the bill however would not promote these goals.  

Currently, there is no reasonably accepted or reliable mechanism to accurately track and report climate change impacts.  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is working to implement the regulatory structure enacted through California’s landmark AB 32 legislation, but even then proper guidance will not be available until 2012 at best. Due to a lack of specificity in the reporting guidelines and clear lack of any reliable reporting mechanism, businesses will be left to decide whether to report information to their investor community that is known to have a high-likelihood of being either under-or-over stated, or limit their risk exposure by not volunteering this information and facing the consequences of poor public perception and a potential competitive disadvantage.

SB 1550 is a clear example of the Legislature putting the cart before the horse. California should allow CARB to continue the difficult task of developing and implementing the regulations called for AB 32 without being distracted with unrealistic, parallel projects that will ultimately harm the business and investor communities alike.  

CMTA opposes SB 1550, and urges members to contact their representatives in the State Assembly and urge their NO vote.

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