As I discussed at the time (here), in March 2022, the SEC published proposed climate-related disclosure guidelines. The agency’s proposal is now in the public comment period, and it remains to be seen in what form the guidelines will be put into effect. However, it seems probable that that the guidelines will be implemented in some form, despite concerns expressed in public comments so far. If the rules are put into effect in some form close to the initial proposal, there will be a risk that claimants may seek to rely on the guidelines in connection with future corporate and securities lawsuits. A detailed and interesting September 12, 2022 memo from the Cleary Gottlieb law firm (here) discussed the possibility that the climate change disclosure guidelines could give rise to a host of potential future litigation risks. (Hat tip to the TheCorporateCounsel.net blog for the link to the law firm memo.)
Continue Reading Will Corporate and Securities Litigation Follow SEC Adoption of Climate Disclosure Guidelines?

In a recent post in which I reviewed recent legal developments in Australia, I discussed the growing possibilities for future climate change-related D&O claims. A recent paper highlights the extent of these D&O claim risks in the United States. The October 2021 paper, published by the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative and entitled “Fiduciary Duties and Climate and entitled “Fiduciary Duties and Climate Change in the United States,” discusses how evolving understandings of climate change has “changed the relevance of climate change to the governance of corporations,” with important implications for the fiduciary duties of directors and officers. The paper discusses how in the current legal environment in the U.S. a board’s failure to adequately regard climate change-related issues could lead to potential litigation and liability. A copy of the full paper can be found here, and an executive summary of the paper can be found here.
Continue Reading Climate Change-Related Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuits?