California Governor to sign climate disclosure bills opposed by business advocacy group

Supporters say Newsom is affirming state's "climate leadership," while CalChamber says the bills will increase costs for businesses and consumers.

Photo by Office of the Governor of California on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he will sign Senate Bill 253 (Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act) — which requires corporations to disclose their carbon emissions — and Senate Bill 261 — which requires corporations to assess their climate risk. He made the announcement during his appearance at Climate Week NYC.

SB 253’s author, Senator Scott Wiener, welcomed the governor’s decision, saying by signing the bill, Newsom is affirming California’s “climate leadership.” Sen. Wiener’s bill requires “any public or private company earning over a billion dollars in annual revenue that operates in California to publicly disclose the greenhouse gas emissions released from their operations and supply chain.” He claims these disclosures would lead to decarbonization and “will unlock new approaches and drive action to reduce emissions.”

Senator Henry Stern, one of the authors of SB 261, has thanked Gov. Newsom for saying he will sign the bill. SB 261 mandates businesses with over $500 million in annual revenue in California to prepare biennial climate-related financial risk reports and make them available online. The reports must disclose climate-related financial risks and measures taken to address them, following a specific framework. Penalties may be imposed for non-compliance.

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) opposes both bills. It says SB 253 will burden all California businesses, impacting competitiveness and raising costs. It says the bill’s requirement for reporting emissions throughout the supply chain may lead to larger businesses severing ties with smaller ones, putting the latter at a disadvantage. It continues: “Ultimately, these are costs that will end up being passed on to the consumer and will lead to lost revenue for the State.”

CalChamber also says SB 261 has significant implementation challenges, particularly for entities with revenue exceeding $500 million. It maintains the bill lacks a standardized reporting mechanism, leading to varied information across industries and reducing reporting reliability. CalChamber has previously suggested delaying SB 261 until federal action is taken to align reporting requirements with international standards. As with SB 253, it alleges SB 261 will impose an undue burden on a broad range of California businesses.

Sources (8)
helpPrimary sources where the above facts were found.
Newsom on stage at Climate Week NYC
Wiener statement
Senator Henry Stern on X
Bill Text – SB-261
Bill Text – SB-253
Brandon Richards (Newsom’s deputy comms director) on X
CalChamber-Opposed Climate Reporting Bills
SB 253 Will Drive Up Consumer Prices: CalChamber
Media Coverage (2)
helpArticles from other media outlets that covered this story.
New York Times
California Governor to Sign Landmark Climate Disclosure Bill
California governor says he will sign climate bill on companies and carbon footprints