Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Environmental Regulation

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Financing the Road to Green

How companies that are unable to issue green bonds can still participate in sustainable finance. By Paul A. Davies, Aaron E. Franklin, and Kristina S. Wyatt If the 2010s were the decade in which green bonds took hold, the 2020s will be the decade in which sustainable finance hits the broader marketplace. The green bond … Continue Reading

Dutch Supreme Court Confirms Government’s Obligation to Reduce Emissions

Court finds the Netherlands’ 20% greenhouse gas emissions target to be unacceptable, citing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the ECHR. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 20 December 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal ruling in the Urgenda case, determining that the Dutch State was … Continue Reading

EPA’s Proposed Coal Ash Permit Program: 6 Key Points

The proposed federal permitting regime includes some surprising provisions, including no permit expiration and no proposed application deadline for most units. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stacey L. VanBelleghem On December 19, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule to establish a federal permitting program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery … Continue Reading

EU Commission Formally Announces European Green Deal

Analysing whether the new Green Deal policies will help the EU achieve climate neutrality.  By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 11 December 2019, the European Commission adopted the European Green Deal (Green Deal), initially proposed earlier in the year by the Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen. The Commission also presented a … Continue Reading

TCI Releases Framework for Draft Policy to Reduce GHG Emissions From Transportation

Under the TCI program, fuel suppliers would be required to hold allowances to cover their reported emissions. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, and Benjamin W. Einhouse The Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia, has advanced its program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) … Continue Reading

Air District Targets Southern California Logistics Industry

A local air district is developing a rule that would require both existing and proposed warehouses to reduce trucking emissions or pay a mitigation fee. By Joshua T. Bledsoe The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or District) is developing a so-called Indirect Source Rule (ISR) that would require Southern California warehouses to reduce … Continue Reading

New Multi-Target French Climate Energy Package Boosts Objectives

The legislation includes six key measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The French Parliament has adopted a new climate energy package to tackle the effects of climate change and boost France’s energy transition endeavors to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. … Continue Reading

UK Releases New Details on Net Zero Target Measures

The announcements signal how both the Net Zero Review and the IETF will impact the UK’s transition to net zero. By Paul Davies and Michael Green On 2 November 2019, the UK government announced further details on two initiatives focused on helping the UK reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The first of … Continue Reading

UK Government Outlines New Powers and Regulations in Environment Bill

The Bill proposes a post-Brexit system of environmental governance to oversee new powers and regulations in four environmental law areas. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 15 October 2019, the UK government published the final draft of Environment Bill 2019–20 (the Bill), which aims to set out the government’s environmental priorities post-Brexit. … Continue Reading

EU Issues Final Report on Climate Benchmarks and ESG Disclosures

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. … Continue Reading

German Government Adopts Climate Action Programme 2030

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 … Continue Reading

EPA to Cease Issuing CBI Notices of Deficiency Under TSCA

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 … Continue Reading

US House Financial Services Committee Holds Landmark Hearing on ESG Reporting

Building a sustainable and competitive economy: an examination of proposals to improve ESG disclosures. By James R. Barrett, Paul A. Davies and Kristina S. Wyatt The US House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets has held the first ever US Congressional hearing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. … Continue Reading

China Publishes Public Consultation on Environmental Protection Regulations for Construction Projects

MEE Opinions aim to clarify application of laws, expand the scope of illegal behaviour, and introduce new administrative penalties. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Department of Laws, Regulations, and Standards of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) recently issued a notice of Public Consultation for the Opinions on Several Issues … Continue Reading

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments Request for preliminary ruling from the Hague Court of Appeal confirms that the concepts of “waste” and “discard” must be interpreted broadly. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently handed down its judgment in response to a request … Continue Reading

EPA Will Not Require Financial Assurances From Electric Power Sector

EPA’s decision to forego financial requirements will likely face opposition by eNGOs. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stacey L. VanBelleghem On July 2, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed decision not to impose new financial responsibility requirements on the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution industry under Section 108(b) of the … Continue Reading

China’s Environmental Social Credit System Encourages Self-Regulation by 2020

China continues to implement an IT-based big data system of market regulation that rewards and punishes individuals and enterprises. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China is currently implementing an innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behaviour of market participants through a new “social credit system” (SCS) set forth in the … Continue Reading

Basel Convention Extends to Include Transboundary Movements of Plastic Waste

The significant extension aims to manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound manner and support less developed nations that import waste. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On May 10, 2019, following two weeks of negotiations involving 1,400 delegates, at the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, it was … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

2018 Year in Review: Public agencies prevailed in 65% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Lucinda Starrett Over the course of 2018, Latham & Watkins lawyers reviewed all 57 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These … Continue Reading

Committee on Climate Change Recommends UK Government Adopt 2050 Net-Zero Greenhouse Gases Budget

The Committee has recommended that the UK government take the lead in reaching net-zero, through social, financial, and policy change. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a statutory body that advises the UK government on carbon budgets, has recommended that the UK government should commit to cutting … Continue Reading

SASB and CDSB Issue TCFD Implementation Guide

The Guide aims to improve climate-related risk disclosure in organizations’ mainstream reports. By Paul A. Davies and Kristina S. Wyatt The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) have issued a Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Implementation Guide designed to foster improved reporting of climate-related information. The TCFD has enjoyed widespread … Continue Reading
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