New SEC Climate Disclosure Rule a Win for Farmers

The SEC’s final climate disclosure rule doesn’t contain Scope 3, which would have seriously burdened U.S. farmers and ranchers. Travis Cushman, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Public Policy with the American Farm Bureau, says the final rule is notable for what it doesn’t include.

“What it does not look like is the way the proposal was two years ago, which would have included Scope 3. Scope 3 would have required public companies to report on the greenhouse gas emission of their supply chain, meaning that farmers would potentially have to be tracking all their missions constantly. Anytime you sell a bushel of corn, we’d have to say these are how much of seven different types of greenhouse gases were emitted for every bushel I’m selling.”

The final rule means Scope 3 is off the table, for now, everywhere except California.

“This is a final rule. Two years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission put out their proposal which included Scope 3, and this final rule has fully eliminated it, which we are incredibly excited and thankful for. In terms of what comes next, California recently passed a rule that would also require disclosure of Scope 3 for anyone to do business in California. We have sued California over this as well.”

The Scope 3 victory is a result of hard work done by both the Farm Bureau and its grassroots members across the country.

“This is an example of how well Farm Bureau works when it works together. It’s advocacy. It’s grassroots. We had our members send 20,000 messages to SEC and Capitol Hill, explaining to them how this could really hurt them. All those things together helped create this result.”

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