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Google, Facebook, Amazon and more urge SEC to mandate regular climate reports

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the co-founding of The Climate Pledge at the National Press Club on September 19, 2019, in Washington.

Paul Morigi | Getty Images | Amazon

A group of seven tech companies urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to require businesses to regularly disclose climate-related matters to their shareholders.

In a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday, Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Autodesk, eBay, Facebook, Intel and Salesforce shared their view in response to a request for public input on such disclosures. The tech industry has been vocal on climate issues in the past, even as employees have pressed the companies themselves to do better.

“We believe that climate disclosures are critical to ensure that companies follow through on stated climate commitments and to track collective progress towards addressing global warming and building a prosperous, resilient zero-carbon economy,” the companies wrote.

In the letter, the group outlined several principles they believe the SEC should incorporate into rules around climate disclosures. They said businesses should report on their relevant greenhouse gas emissions measured by relevant global standards and the SEC should lean on existing frameworks to ensure disclosures are consistent and comparable to one another.

The group said that collectively, it’s purchased 21 gigawatts of clean energy and each aims to procure 100% renewable energy.

Separately, Microsoft submitted its own letter to encouraging the SEC to adopt rules requiring material disclosures related to climate impact. Microsoft similarly emphasized that the reports should be based on common standards but said rules should not be “excessively prescriptive.” Apple said it had also submitted its own letter and has previously called for emissions disclosures audited by third parties.

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