On June 22, 2023, AmCham Germany and its Corporate & Business Law Committee welcomed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester M. Pierce for a lunch discussion on ESG legislations and regulation in Europe, as well as corresponding SEC proposals related to climate.
In that context, Commissioner Pierce raised concerns about capital markets being politicized. The discussion touched upon questions such as if a certification or standardized process should be in place for unifying sustainability reporting standards and terminology. Topics such as greenwashing and the concern of companies being split in “green” and “brown” parts were also touched upon.
Commissioner Pierce highlighted the reporting requirements for U.S. companies that are active in Germany and other European countries and for all companies acting on an international level.
The second part of Commissioner Pierce’s discussion featured information on recent developments in crypto legislation and regulation. This part started with the question of defining crypto assets. Interesting aspects such as if stocks will be tokenized and if bonds will be put on blockchain were also brought to the table. The event ended with the question how Bitcoin – due to its energy-intensive Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism - could be treated in the future.