Skimming the Climate Disclosure Rule (Research Days 1 and 2)

My research batch for April-June 2022 is in full swing. I’ve been finishing up the blog posts from the last batch, which I’m listing here. (The posts themselves are over on my Medium page.)

It’s possible that I bit off a bit too much this time around. Considering that I have blog posts from last time to complete, and I selected more reading materials this quarter than the last.

However, there was a long stretch in the middle of last quarter where I was waffling around and being stuck, until I figured out a better reading process and really picked up speed towards the end. I’m hoping that I can get more done this time by avoiding the waffling stage.

I guess time will tell.

I started with skimming the longest document of the batch: the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule.

These are the questions I usually ask myself while I’m skimming:

  • What is the document, in simple terms?
  • When is it from?
  • What type of language does it use – legalese, engineering-speak, or layman-friendly?
  • What am I looking for in this document?
  • How many (readable) pages is it, excluding appendices and references?
  • What cited resources do I want to add to my TBR (‘to be read’ as the Booktubers say)?

I don’t have the answers to all of these questions for this document yet. Here’s what I have so far.

What it is: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is proposing a rule that requires publicly traded companies to disclose the risks they face from climate change, so that investors can make informed decisions. This document describes that rule in detail.

When it’s from: March 2022.

Type of language: Lots of finance-talk.

What I’m looking for:

  • An interesting aspect of this rule is that even though it’s mainly about companies’ risks from climate change, it also asks about their effects on climate change, such as their greenhouse gas emissions and emissions targets.
    • That’s because being a high emitter is actually a risk to the company as the economy transitions to being lower-carbon. New regulations may force a company to cut its emissions.
    • I’m looking to understand what kinds of information we can expect from companies about their emissions, and what we can do with it.
  • Secondly, the document says that this change was made because large numbers of investors use climate impacts in their decision-making, and want more detailed and consistent information.
    • I’m looking to learn more about this trend and how we can be a part of it.

Number of pages: 490, which is long, though part of that is because it’s double-spaced. I’m not sure yet how many of the pages will be relevant or readable.

And that’s all for now!

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