The annual report shows a considerable uptake in the adoption of climate-centred financial disclosures.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) published its Annual Report on TCFD-aligned disclosures by firms (Annual Report), on 29 October 2020. The TCFD was established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in 2015 as a mechanism to develop an approach for companies to disclose climate change matters. The TCFD offers companies guidelines and disclosure recommendations for providing information to investors, so that companies can provide more consistent, comparable data. The TCFD also promotes climate-related scenario analysis and the integration of climate-related risks into risk-management processes.

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 Initiative aims to promote sustainability in both the batteries value chain and the growing electric vehicle market.

By Paul A. Davies and Federica Rizzo

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) to modernize the EU’s batteries legislation, in particular Directive 2006/66/EC of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators, and waste batteries and accumulators (the so-called “Batteries Directive”).

The Initiative is in line with the European Green Deal, which promotes the decarbonisation of the EU economy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The legislative proposal is also based on the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries adopted by the EC[i] in 2018, which promotes the growth of safe and sustainable battery production, and a better functioning of the internal market as concerns batteries, products incorporating batteries, and recycled materials.

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.

Do European Commission ambitions signal a new, more sustainable direction of travel for the EU and globally?

By Paul Davies and Michael Green

On 27 May 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) announced a €750 billion stimulus fund aimed at helping the economies of the EU member states recover from the shock sustained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this fund, officially titled Next Generation EU, the Commission hopes to “build back better”, through channels that contribute to a greener, more sustainable and resilient society. When combined with the proposed €1.1 trillion EU budget for the next seven years, the Commission’s wider recovery plan comes to a total of €1.85 trillion.

The plan follows the Commission’s Green Deal, which was announced in December 2019. The Green Deal was proposed as a framework of legislation from which the bloc could achieve its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To decarbonise the economy, the Green Deal envisages government spending and public initiatives worth €100 billion per year, according to the Commission’s European Green Deal Investment Plan. Discussions surrounding the Green Deal had gained traction prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as considerations on how best to tackle the social and economic issues raised by the transition to a carbon-free economy.

The EU Commission aims to enshrine into law the 2050 climate-neutrality target and has taken further steps to establish a unified EU “green” classification system.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and Federica Rizzo

The European Green Deal, presented on 11 December 2019, provides a roadmap with actions aimed at boosting the efficient use of resources and the circular economy, decarbonising the energy sector, and investing in environmentally friendly technologies.

On 4 March 2020, the EU Commission (the Commission) published its Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (the proposed European Climate Law). This year, the Commission will also present measures to increase the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030, which will require additional investments of €260 billion a year by 2030, and to promote a climate-neutral EU by 2050.