Environmental Regulation

The court’s decision is the latest development in the litigation over the SEC’s final rules, which have faced numerous legal challenges since their adoption.

By Paul A. Davies, Sarah E. Fortt, and Betty M. Huber

On March 15, 2024, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an administrative stay of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently finalized climate disclosure rules, in response to a March 8 request.[1] Petitioners had requested the stay in light

The Eligibility List sets out the approved host countries, carbon crediting programmes, and methodologies that meet the established Eligibility Criteria in Singapore.

By Paul A. Davies, Jean-Philippe Brisson, Farhana Sharmeen, Don Stokes, Michael D. Green, Qingyi Pan, James Bee, and Kevin Mak

On 19 December 2023, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) in Singapore published the Eligibility List under Singapore’s International Carbon Credit (ICC) Framework, which took effect from 1 January 2024 and was published on Singapore’s Carbon Markets Cooperation website.

The Eligibility List followed the signing of an inaugural Article 6 implementation agreement with Papua New Guinea on carbon credits cooperation.

Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries may enter into an implementation agreement to cooperate to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by trading Paris Agreement compliant carbon credits. Parties to the implementation agreement must also effect certain corresponding adjustment mechanisms to ensure that any emission reductions or removals are struck from the host country’s NDC accounts to prevent double-counting.

The Supervisory Body published the Methodology Guidance and the Removal Guidance to be presented for discussion in COP28.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Paul A. Davies, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis, Qingyi Pan, and Brett Frazer*

After two years of discussion, the Supervisory Body (SB) responsible for determining the guidelines for Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement published two sets of recommendations, which will be presented for consideration and adoption by the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) at the 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP28).

The first recommendation came on November 16, 2023, when the SB published guidelines on the requirements for the development and assessment of Article 6.4 mechanism methodologies (the Methodology Guidance).[i] The second recommendation followed the next day, when the SB published guidelines on activities involving removals under the Article 6.4 mechanism (the Removal Guidance).[ii]

We discuss key regulatory trends and strategies to consider when pursing US transmission and interconnection opportunities.

By Tyler Brown, Marc T. Campopiano, and Jennifer K. Roy

Renewable energy production has grown at an exponential clip over the past decade, with continued strong expansion expected because of declining costs, numerous governmental incentives, and long-term decarbonization policies. This trend has driven a tremendous demand for new transmission infrastructure in the US and globally, yet new transmission lines often take years to develop due to regulatory hurdles and litigation challenges.

An unprecedented investment in transmission will be needed over upcoming decades to keep pace with demand and meet decarbonization goals. Companies and investors will need to factor into their strategies these key regulatory trends when pursuing US and global transmission and generator interconnection opportunities.

The agency’s two recent actions introduce enhanced restrictions on hydrofluorocarbons and provide a series of compliance dates for industry stakeholders.

By Stacey VanBelleghem and Jennifer Garlock

On October 5, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two rules, one final and one proposed, to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 (AIM Act). The agency’s recent actions represent major steps in the Biden administration’s goal to significantly reduce HFCs over the next decade.

HFCs are a group of chemical refrigerants and potent greenhouse gasses (GHGs), commonly used in foam products, cooling systems, aerosols, and fire suppressants. International focus on managing these compounds sharpened in the 1980s, when countries agreed in the Montreal Protocol to shift global markets away from the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) — the then dominant strain of refrigerant and aerosol chemicals — toward HFCs. Although HFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer than CFCs, they have global warming potential (GWP) values (a figure that allows comparison of relative climate impact of a GHG) hundreds or thousands times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2), which has a GWP equal to 1. In 2016, nearly 200 countries adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol agreeing to a global phasedown of production and use of HFCs. The US ratified that amendment on October 31, 2022.