Environment, Land & Resources

EU Issues Final Report on Climate Benchmarks and ESG Disclosures

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, Environmental Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law, Green Finance

Technical Expert Group recommends minimum requirements for two new benchmarks.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 30 September 2019, the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) published its final report on climate benchmarks and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures (the Report), as well as a summary of the Report. The Report makes recommendations regarding the minimum technical requirements for the methodology that pertains to two new climate benchmarks. The Report also makes recommendations for suggested ESG disclosures on a wide range of benchmarks. This post will examine the TEG recommendations and their implications for the future of these climate benchmarks.

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German Government Adopts Climate Action Programme 2030

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, Environmental Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law

The Programme includes a new CO2 pricing regime aimed at emissions caused by the building sector and by traffic and transport.

By Jörn Kassow

On 20 September 2019, the German government adopted the Climate Action Programme 2030, a plan to ensure that Germany achieves its climate protection goals for 2030, including a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 55% (compared to 1990). The Programme comprises a number of measures for all relevant sectors. Significant measures include:

CO2 pricing: New pricing of CO2 emissions caused by the building sector and by traffic and transport may be the single most important aspect of the Programme. The relevant national emissions trading system will be launched in 2021. Companies selling heating fuel (such as heating oil, gas, or coal) and fuel for vehicles will need to buy one certificate for every tonne of CO2 emitted by the products they sell. While fuel traders will initially bear the costs of these certificates, such costs are likely to be passed on to consumers. The trading system will start with a fixed price of €10 per tonne of CO2 in 2021 and increase to €35 per tonne of CO2 in 2025. After 2025, the market will set the price, within a fixed band. The total quantity of certificates issued throughout Germany shall be in line with the German and European climate targets. Continue Reading

CARB Updates Proposal to Amend SF6 Regulation: Stricter Requirements for California Electrical Equipment

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, California

CARB’s revised discussion draft removes a previously proposed de minimis exemption for owners of SF6 GIE.

By Aron Potash and Christopher C. Antonacci

On August 15, 2019, California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff published a revised discussion draft (Revised Draft) of potential changes to the Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear (SF6 Regulation). The Revised Draft takes into account comments received from stakeholders in the past several months. Notably, it proposes several significant changes to the SF6 Regulation, including removing a previously proposed de minimis exemption to compliance with the SF6 Regulation emissions limit and revising the phase-out schedule for SF6 gas-insulated equipment (GIE). Latham & Watkins examined the previous discussion draft in this March 4, 2019, blog post.

CARB held a workshop in Sacramento the same day it released the Revised Draft, during which staff presented an overview of the changes, answered stakeholders’ questions, and solicited any questions or concerns stakeholders may have. CARB is accepting public comments on the Revised Draft through August 29, 2019.

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EPA to Cease Issuing CBI Notices of Deficiency Under TSCA

Posted in Environmental Regulation

EPA’s new policy may result in public disclosure of confidential business information if confidentiality is not properly claimed.

By Julia A. Hatcher, Ann Claassen, and Stijn van Osch

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on July 15, 2019 that, beginning August 15, 2019, EPA would no longer provide notices of deficiency to businesses that submit procedurally flawed confidential business information (CBI) claims under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Instead, EPA will only send a notice that the agency does not consider such information confidential, and will make such information available to the public. This policy change, which EPA published in the Federal Register on July 16, means that businesses should take care to provide complete and accurate substantiation for CBI, or risk public disclosure of confidential information. Continue Reading

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