With an election pending, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) further delaying announcement of its final ruling on climate disclosures and a new raft of international climate-and-nature-reporting rules landing this year, business leaders face uncertain times.

While corporates keen to know the SEC’s decision might have to wait until Spring, the state of California is forging ahead with sweeping climate measures that require organisations to consider and qualify their climate-related practices.

The recently approved California Climate Acts (CCA); the Climate-related Financial Risk Act (SB 261) and Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253) have passed both Houses of the State legislature and been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom as part of the California Climate Commitment that invests $54 billion to address climate change.

The CCA requires a broad scope of organisations to disclose, including all companies; public and private, that do business in California and report over $1 billion in annual revenue. Aligning reporting requirements with international reporting baselines, the Climate Acts bring financial penalties for non-compliance, meaning the new legislation cannot be ignored.

Or can it? Timelines for the CCA are already slipping and a number of businesses and industry associations have recently filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board, which is responsible for implementing the new disclosure regime, alleging violation of constitutional rights. Add to that the recently-announced shortfall of almost $38 billion in the state of California’s proposed 2024-2025 budget and a possible pause in funding to implement newly signed laws and the outlook is decidedly uncertain.

So, what does all this mean for business? Following the publication of our most recent Transition Risk Series discussion paper: ‘California Climate Acts: what you need to know’, we will be hosting an expert-led webinar, on Thursday 7th March at 8am PT (4pm GMT). Discussion will include steps companies can take to address the CCA, the potential impact of the CCA on the SEC and how organisations can navigate the overlaps between global reporting obligations such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive?

Moderated by Risilience General Counsel, Eric Drattell, the panel will comprise: Dana Davis, Assistant Vice President, Sustainability, Energy and Climate, WSP USA; Ayman Chowdhury, Director of Programs and Advisory at Competent Boards; and, Andy Garraway, Climate Policy Lead at Risilience.

Hearing from sustainability leaders who are in the thick of this complex, dynamic and fragmented regulatory landscape will shine a light on what the latest raft of climate rules mean for business and what organisations can do to get ahead.