carbon markets

Alarm Raised Over Potential Impact of Proposed SEC Rule

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Regulation

Agricultural industry groups are raising concerns about a proposed rule from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” rule would require extensive reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from publicly trade companies. Most troubling for the agricultural industry is the requirement to disclose Scope 3 emissions, which do not come from the company itself, but further up the value chain. Nearly a dozen industry organizations submitted comments on the proposed SEC rule, detailing concerns for farmers.

SEC Rule

“Without changes and clarifications, the Proposed Rules would be wildly burdensome and expensive if not altogether impossible for many small and mid-sized farmers to comply with,” the organizations point out in their comments. “We do not believe the SEC fully considered nor has sufficiently sought to mitigate the potential socioeconomic impact of the Proposed Rules on agricultural communities.”

The group of organizations that submitted the comments includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, Agricultural Retailers Association, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Some of the recommendations highlighted in the comments include the removal of the “value-chain” concept and an explicit exemption for agriculture from the Scope 3 requirements. Other recommendations include aligning emission reporting requirements with other emission programs and ensuring disclosure information does not include location data.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has also raised concern about the proposed SEC rule and how it projects to impact dairy production. In submitted comments, the organization highlights the substantial progress the dairy industry has made in addressing emission levels. NMPF notes that the proposed SEC rule runs the risk of undermining ongoing climate efforts and creates a significant financial burden for producers. “The SEC rule, as written, could hamper our ability to make progress through the industry’s robust, voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment program, and jeopardize our goal of reaching GHG neutrality by 2050.” NMPF President and CEO, Jim Mulhern said in a press release.

About the Author

Brian German

Facebook Twitter

Ag News Director, AgNet West