California’s Climate Risk Disclosure Rules: Breaking Down the Landmark Legislation of Bills SB 253 and SB 261, and Cross-Industry Impacts

October 12, 2023 4:15pm

John Tobin-de le Puente
Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability
Cornell University

Kevin Christopher
Founder & Principal
Rockridge Venture Law

Amid eager anticipation for the SEC’s Final Climate Risk Disclosure Rule, California legislature has approved two landmark bills—SB 253 and SB 261— with national and global implications for businesses and their supply chains.

The bills, which require large public and private companies in the state to disclose greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to investors and the public, mean that impacted companies will face significant costs for compliance, including across supply chains. During this timely panel, we will explore:

  • Key elements of each bill, including SB 253’s disclosure requirements for Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions for the prior fiscal year
  • Key differences between Senate Bill 253 and Senate Bill 261
  • Understanding who has to disclose, reporting entities versus covered entities
  • The requirement for publicly disclosing climate-related financial risks
  • Addressing transparency as a broader theme and cross-industry impacts
  • Key issues and next steps, including potential legal challenges