The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 9 extended the period for public comment on its landmark proposal until June 17. The proposed rules require U.S.-listed companies to disclose a range of climate-related risks and greenhouse gas emissions.

Gary Gensler, who heads the agency that regulates Wall Street, said the SEC extended the deadline in response to "significant interest" from a wide range of investors, issuers, market participants and other stakeholders. The initial public comment period on the proposal had expired in April.

Prominent Republicans have accused the SEC of overstepping its authority with the proposed rule. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce business group has vowed to fight parts of the plan.

The agency also re-opened for 30 days its public comment period on separate proposals to boost private fund advisor disclosures and to expand Treasury trading platforms. 

Corporate groups have criticized Gensler over the agency's initial 30-day comment period windows for these and other measures, saying that the short comment period is inappropriate for offering opinions on such ambitious rule changes.

"The SEC benefits greatly from hearing from the public on proposed regulatory changes," Gensler said in a statement.

Gensler said in November that the SEC would consider new oversight rules for some platforms for trading U.S. Treasuries in a move aimed at boosting transparency and competition. The watchdog in February proposed heightened regulations meant to scrutinize how private fund advisers charge fees to investors and measure fund performance.

The SEC's March unveiling of its climate rule proposal came in response to investor demand for consistent information on how climate change will affect the financial performance of companies in which they invest. 

The proposed SEC rule forms part of President Joe Biden's push to join global efforts to avert climate-related catastrophes.

"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," Gensler added.