Environment, Land & Resources

Webcast: Wildfire Implications on California Development

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, California, CEQA

Developers and municipalities must continue to evaluate potential wildfire impacts on projects under CEQA and consider recent legislative changes.

By Marc T. Campopiano and Shivaun A. Cooney

Wildfires have posed increasing risks in recent years to the public and environment in California. The importance of understanding how wildfires may impact new development and infrastructure is more relevant than ever. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), developers and agencies are prompted to evaluate wildfire impacts.

Latham & Watkins recently hosted an in-depth webcast to help clients understand new wildfire guidelines and the subsequent implications on development. Topics covered include:

  • CEQA Guidelines and Appendix G questions
  • How EIRs have applied wildfire guidelines
  • Climate change, air quality, and power shutdowns in response to wildfire risk
  • Recent court cases involving wildfires
  • Recent wildfire legislation

Watch a recording of Wildfire Implications on California Development: CEQA, Legislation, and More, and contact Latham with any questions you might have about these issues.

UK Government Launches Hydrogen Strategy and Business Model Consultation

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change

Strategy positions UK as a world leader in the hydrogen space, supporting 9,000 plus jobs and unlocking £4 billion in investment by 2030.

By Paul Davies, John-Patrick Sweny, and James Bee

On 17 August 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the UK’s first Hydrogen Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy sets out the government’s roadmap for achieving its ambition of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, as identified in the Ten Point Industrial Revolution Plan released in November 2020, with government projections indicating that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption could be hydrogen-based by 2050.

Forecasts suggest that by 2030, hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising certain highly polluting industries that are unsuitable for electrification, such as chemicals, industrial furnaces, and long-distance or heavy-duty transport, as well as replace natural gas in powering around three million homes a year. The Strategy clarifies the government’s view that developing the UK hydrogen sector will achieve the twin goals of reducing the UK’s carbon footprint in line with the UK’s net zero commitments, whilst stimulating significant job creation and economic growth in the industrial sector. Continue Reading

China’s National ETS Launches Trading

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, China

The start of trading represents a significant opportunity for businesses able to achieve meaningful reductions.

By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate

Nearly four years after China’s national emissions trading scheme (ETS) was announced in late 2017, trading of emissions quotas officially commenced on July 16. The start of trading represents a significant step in China’s adoption of market-based mechanisms for addressing climate change, while also signifying a major opportunity for businesses able to achieve meaningful reductions.

More than 4.1 million tonnes of Chinese Carbon Emission Allowances (CEAs) traded on the first day at a price of RMB52.78 (or US$7.42) per tonne — an amount that was in line with analysts’ expectations for launch. Although this price is significantly below the prices of allowances in the EU ETS (€52.89 per tonne on July 16) or California (US$18.80 per tonne at the May 2021 auction), it is close to the allowance price in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a cap-and-trade program covering 11 states on the east coast of the United States (US$7.97 per tonne at the auction held on June 2, 2021). Like China’s ETS in its initial phase, the RGGI covers only power plants. Since the launch, prices have largely held steady, although volume fell significantly after the initial flurry of activity. Continue Reading