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The Reasonable Investor and Climate-Related Information: Changing Expectations for Financial Disclosures

February 2020

Citation: ELR 10106

Author: Hana V. Vizcarra

In recent years, the drumbeat for more expansive climate-related corporate disclosures has grown louder and more consistent within a broader swath of the financial community. This intensifying call argues for considering more climate-related information legally material under existing U.S. securities disclosure law. A key component of materiality as defined in U.S. securities law—who is a “reasonable investor”—is evolving when it comes to climate-related information. This evolution may soon impact what climate-related information courts consider material. Uunderstanding how courts may treat such information under the existing securities law framework is crucial to achieving more expansive disclosures. This Comment attempts to contribute to that conversation by surveying current trends that may influence courts’ analyses of the materiality of climate-related topics.

Hana V. Vizcarra is a staff attorney at Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program.

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