SEC forms enforcement task force focused on ESG-related misconduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The task force will be led by Kelly Gibson, the acting deputy director of enforcement, who will oversee a divisionwide effort, with 22 members drawn from the SEC’s headquarters, regional offices and enforcement specialized units. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Consistent with increasing investor focus and reliance on climate and ESG-related disclosure and investment, the Climate and ESG Task Force will develop initiatives to proactively identify ESG-related misconduct. The initial focus will be to identify any material gaps or misstatements in issuers’ disclosure of climate risks under existing rules. The task force will also analyze disclosure and compliance issues relating to investment advisers’ and funds’ ESG strategies.