Environment, Land & Resources

European Commission Releases Legislative Package to Meet Emissions Target

Posted in Energy Regulatory, Environmental Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law

The package aims to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform the EU’s economy and society for a greener future.

By Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, David Little, Elisabetta Righini, JP Sweny, and Michael D. Green

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission (the Commission) unveiled a long-awaited package of proposals that seeks to align the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport, and taxation policies with the European Green Deal’s emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The European Climate Law, which enters into force this month, will enshrine this target into binding legislation.

This blog post outlines the key elements of the package, which aims to fulfil the Commission’s ambition for Europe to be the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The proposals are interconnected and aim to ensure responsibility is shared evenly across sectors, with measures providing additional financial support where necessary. Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes New Green Bond Standard and Unveils Latest Sustainable Finance Strategy

Posted in Environmental Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law, Green Finance

The new green bond standard aims to hit EU Green Deal targets, address environmental challenges, and increase investment in sustainable activities. 

By Paul Davies and Edward Kempson

The European Commission (the Commission) recently issued two key announcements relating to the newly published EU Sustainable Finance Strategy (the Strategy) and the new EU Green Bond Standard (the EUGBS). This blog will highlight key areas of focus in the Strategy and will explore anticipated dynamics in the green bond market and between the EUGBS and the International Capital Market Association’s (the ICMA’s) Green Bond Principles (the GBPs). Continue Reading

UK Regulators Launch Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion

Posted in European Environmental and Public Law

Discussion Paper opens debate on potential new rules to improve diversity in financial services.

By Rob Moulton, David Berman, Paul Davies, and Charlotte Collins

On 7 July 2021, the FCA, the PRA, and the Bank of England published a joint Discussion Paper on diversity and inclusion in the financial sector. The regulators, in particular the FCA, have been focused on diversity and inclusion as regulatory issues for some time. According to the regulators, research shows there is a positive correlation between increased diversity and inclusion and better outcomes in risk management, conduct, culture, and innovation. Therefore, improving diversity and inclusion in financial services is seen as tying in closely with the regulators’ objectives. In the Discussion Paper, the regulators consider diversity and inclusion not only in terms of how a firm is run internally, but also how the firm serves its customers. Continue Reading

FCA Proposes New Climate-Related Disclosure Regime

Posted in Environmental Regulation

The FCA is proposing a disclosure regime for asset managers, life insurers, and pension providers.

By Paul DaviesNicola HiggsVictoria SanderDavid BermanAnne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins

On 22 June 2021, the FCA published a Consultation Paper (CP21/17) on introducing climate-related financial disclosure rules and guidance for asset managers, life insurers, and FCA-regulated pension providers. The disclosure requirements would be consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.

The FCA plans to introduce the disclosure requirements in a new ESG Sourcebook in the FCA Handbook. The regulator anticipates that this Sourcebook will expand over time to include new rules and guidance on other climate-related topics and wider ESG considerations. Continue Reading

FCA Seeks to Extend Climate-Related Disclosures for Listed Companies

Posted in Environmental Regulation

The FCA is consulting on extending its rules to standard listed issuers.

By Paul A. Davies, Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Charlotte Collins

On 22 June 2021, the FCA published a Consultation Paper (CP21/18) on extending the application of the existing climate-related disclosure requirements for commercial companies with a UK premium listing to a wider scope of listed issuers, so that all commercial companies that issue listed equity shares would be captured by the requirements. The FCA had previously announced that it was going to consult on this extension, so standard listed issuers were forewarned. The FCA plans to apply the requirements for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022. Continue Reading

California Renews and Amends CEQA Litigation Streamlining for Certain Projects

Posted in California, CEQA

SB 7 expands project eligibility, provides additional guidance regarding GHG emissions, and changes some procedural requirements.

By Nikki Buffa and Brian McCall

On May 20, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 7, the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021. SB 7 reinstates, with amendments, the Environmental Leadership Development Project (ELDP) provisions of the Public Resources Code — more commonly known as AB 900 — which expired on January 1, 2021. The basic premise of AB 900 and now SB 7 is to provide litigation streamlining under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for a certain class of projects that meet heightened environmental and labor standards. This blog post examines how SB 7 departs from AB 900 in a few key ways. Continue Reading