The pioneering case seeks an injunction to restrain the government from further promoting exchange-traded bonds until it complies with its duty of disclosure.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

miningOn 22 July 2020, investors filed a class-action claim against the Australian government, alleging that it failed to disclose material climate change risks relating to its bonds (O’Donnell v. Commonwealth and Ors). The claim is thought to be the first of its kind against a national government.

The government provides further details on UK carbon pricing after Brexit.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 14 July 2020, the UK government published the draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020 (the Order), establishing a framework for the potential UK Emissions Trading System (UK ETS). Subsequently, on 21 July 2020, the government published a consultation on the operation of a potential new carbon emissions tax.

The proposals outline the potential new UK system after Brexit, which could be linked to the EU Emissions Trading System

By Paul Davies and Michael Green

On 1 June 2020, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published proposals outlining a new UK-wide Emissions Trading System (UK ETS) contained within a response document to a consultation conducted in May 2019. The proposals were jointly designed by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, and the Northern Irish Executive (together, the government). The government has stated that the proposals are a “crucial step” towards achieving the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

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) emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels. On October 1, 2019, TCI published a Framework for a Draft Regional Policy Proposal (the Policy Proposal).

This blog post reviews the presentation of the TCI program’s key design elements and summarizes key stakeholder comments on the Policy Proposal.

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 these measures, HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review (Review), will consider how the UK should fund efforts to meet its net zero target. The second measure, the proposed Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), aims to help energy-intensive industries reduce their carbon emissions. New details surrounding the proposed measures signal how both the Review and the IETF will impact the UK’s transition to net zero.

The launch of the International Platform on Sustainable Finance indicates an increased focus on a globalized approach to coordinating sustainable finance.

By Paul Davies and Michael D. Green

On October 18, 2019, the EU, China, India, and five other countries combined to launch the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF). Acknowledging the role that private capital has to play in scaling up sustainable investment worldwide, the IPSF seeks to provide a platform to increase private-sector funding in this area. This blog post will consider in more detail the IPSF’s aims, as well as the ways in which the IPSF intends to achieve them.

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.

The public consultation on adjusting the GHG emission allowance auction process for 2021-2030 is open for comment until August 6.

By Joern Kassow and Alexander Wilhelm

In order to deepen cooperation in the energy sector and to build up a stronger Energy Union, the European Parliament and the Council revised Directive 2003/87/EC (ETS Directive) in March 2018 to implement the ambitious targets of the 2030 EU Climate and Energy Framework. The European Commission (EC) therefore plans to adjust the rules on auctioning greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances to maintain pace with these recent EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) developments. Prior to adopting a Delegated Regulation to amend Regulation (EU) No 1031/2010 (Auctioning Regulation), the EC is inviting comments on the draft until August 6, 2019.