Senior Manager, Investor Program
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Jim Coburn directs Ceres’ efforts to improve mandatory climate and sustainability risk disclosure by corporations. Drawing from his legal background, Jim helps to develop rules and guidance on reporting that strengthen corporate risk management practices and improve investor decisions. He most recently played an integral role in leading the initiative that resulted in the SEC’s issuance of groundbreaking climate disclosure guidance for corporations in 2010.
In addition to leading regular engagements with members of Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) and the SEC on disclosure issues, Jim also manages Ceres’ involvement in the Climate Disclosure Standards Board. The Board is a global collaboration of accounting firms, NGOs and corporations developing standards for reporting in financial filings.
Jim manages Ceres reports on climate disclosure, most recently co-authoring Cool Response: The SEC & Corporate Climate Change Reporting, which outlines generally weak climate disclosure to date by businesses and steps the SEC can take to improve reporting.
Jim has organized Ceres webinars to educate investors and companies on best practices for disclosure. He often speaks to the media on disclosure-related issues, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. In addition, he has served as a panelist at numerous events, including the ALI-ABA/Environmental Law Institute’s climate change and the law conference, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference.
Before joining Ceres, Jim worked for Morgan Stanley in equity research, the American Civil Liberties Union and Green America. He holds a BA in Government from Cornell University and a JD from Boston College Law School. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and the American Bar Association’s Environmental Disclosure Committee.
Recent Blog Posts
Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for cities everywhere about the risks of unprecedented storms.
With the fourth anniversary of the SEC’s Interpretive Guidance on climate change disclosure approaching, it’s time to ask: are companies disclosing climate information in SEC filings that’s helpful to investors?
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, several reports have found that many oil and gas companies—not just BP—were poorly managing the risks of offshore drilling. Shell is moving forward with at least two Arctic wells this year, at a time when confidence in the oil and gas industry’s risk management practices is remarkably low.
The oil industry hasn’t responded with sufficient reforms or adequate disclosure to prevent another Macondo. Ten of the world’s largest oil and gas companies failed to adequately disclose the risks in their deepwater drilling activities in filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Canada's stock exchanges list some of the most energy-intensive companies in the world, including hundreds of miners, like Barrick Gold and Teck Resources. The Toronto Stock Exchanges alone have handled more than 80% of worldwide mining equity transactions over the past five years.