SEC Extends ESG Comment Deadline, EQUL Already Ahead | ETF Trends

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday in a press release that it would be extending the comment period from the public for its regulation regarding climate disclosures that will be provided to investors. The new deadline will be June 17, 2022, and will allow for a greater amount of input on a potential watershed moment for ESG within the U.S.

The proposed rules regarding ESG would require any entity registered with the SEC to disclose climate-related information and risks in their reports so this information is easily attainable and transparent for investors. It is also proposing a disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions as an inherently inclusive part of the climate risks.

“Today, the Commission acted to provide the public with additional time to comment on three proposed rulemakings that have drawn significant interest from a wide breadth of investors, issuers, market participants, and other stakeholders,” says SEC Chair Gary Gensler in the press release.

The regulatory body has also announced that it is reopening comments for 30 days for both its proposed regulation regarding enhancement of private fund investor protections and reopening comments on proposed rules targeting the inclusion of significant Treasury markets platforms under the Alternative Trading Systems.

“The SEC benefits greatly from hearing from the public on proposed regulatory changes. Commenters with diverse views have noted that they would benefit from additional time to review these three proposals, and I’m pleased that the public will have additional time to provide thoughtful feedback,” says Gensler.

If these rules go into effect, they will require many companies to reorient their data collection methods, including how and what risks they assess, as well as having to potentially restructure to align with governance initiatives. The proposed rules would serve to put both public and regulatory pressure on companies that might be concerned about how their disclosures would be perceived by investors and the broader public.

To submit a comment to the SEC regarding the standardization and enhancement of climate-related disclosures provided to investors, click here.

Investing in Governance and Equity Now with EQUL

For investors that are looking to get ahead of the curve, or for investors who seek to capture the potential higher performance offered by more diverse companies, the IQ Engender Equality ETF (EQUL) offers a dual impact opportunity. The fund seeks to invest in companies with a gender balance within their workforce, board of directors, and senior management. It also evaluates the gender pay gaps of companies, their sexual harassment policies, parental leave policies, and other metrics.

The fund is also an impact fund. It was created in alignment with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the representation of women in computer science by offering clubs and programs for all girls, half of which constitute historically underrepresented groups. IndexIQ donates a portion of its management fee to Girls Who Code.

EQUL carries an expense ratio of 0.45% and is equal weighted.

For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Dual Impact Channel.