The People’s Bank of China announced a collaboration with the European Union to adopt a common taxonomy for green investments.

By Paul A. Davies, Nicola Higgs, and Edward R. Kempson

On 21 March 2021, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced that China is working with the European Union to adopt a common green taxonomy across the two markets later this year. PBC Governor Yi Gang, speaking at the China Development Forum, said strengthening the nation’s green finance system was the central bank’s priority for the next five years.[1] He emphasised that, in order for China to meet its 30/60 goal of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, China needs to engage in collaboration with global partners.

The EU Taxonomy Regulation,[2] which entered into force in July 2020 and will take effect on a phased basis from 1 January 2022, is one of the most significant developments in sustainable finance to date. It creates a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities and aims to provide clarity as to what should be considered “green”. The EU Taxonomy Regulation is intended to avoid issues of greenwashing and is considered to be an important tool in implementing the Paris Agreement climate goals. For more details on the EU Taxonomy Regulation, please refer to our blog post on the topic.

The consultation seeks to establish a strategic framework aimed at ensuring high standards of protection for workers.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 7 December 2020, the European Commission (EC or the Commission) launched a public consultation (the Consultation) on the new EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work for 2021-2027 (the Framework). The Consultation follows a Roadmap adopted by the EC in October 2020 and builds on the feedback received following the Roadmap’s consultation and regarding occupational safety and health (OSH) factors.

The formal adoption reflects the EU’s acknowledgement that a robust system of sustainable finance will be essential to the proposed capital markets union.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 8 November 2019, the Council of the EU published a press release announcing the adoption of legislative reforms that aim to enhance the proposed capital markets union. Notably, two of the reforms are related to sustainable finance: the Low Carbon Benchmark Regulation (LCBR), and the Disclosure Regulation, the

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. The Report makes recommendations regarding the minimum technical requirements for the methodology that pertains to two new climate benchmarks. The Report also makes recommendations for suggested ESG disclosures on a wide range of benchmarks. This post will examine the TEG recommendations and their implications for the future of these climate benchmarks.

Individuals join growing global trend of citizens bringing climate change litigation in a bid to hold governments to account.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

The European General Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to EU climate legislation for inadequate targets for reducing climate change. Ten families from around the world brought a petition claiming that EU legislation offered insufficient protection, posing a threat to their human rights. The European Parliament (EP) and European Union Council (Council) likely will respond to the petition within approximately eight weeks.

The case is unprecedented in the EU. The 10 families include citizens from Kenya, Fiji, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, and the Saami Youth Association Saminuorra (in Sweden). Significantly, though some of these individuals live outside the EU, they are claiming to have EU human rights. This is because the actions that they claim breach these rights take place in the EU, in particular, as a result of excessive greenhouse gas emissions. EU Member States are cumulatively the third largest global emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG).

Transparency regarding mitigation and financing rules likely to be key hurdles to overcome in achieving climate goals.

By Rosa Espin, Paul Davies, and Michael Green

The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, recently commented on momentum in the European Union (EU) regarding climate change and the action that countries across the globe need to take to implement the Paris Agreement goals. The Commissioner addressed three main issues:

  • The Paris Agreement and its goals
  • How the EU has maintained the momentum at the recent COP23 UN Climate Change Conference (including establishing what COP24 participants intend to discuss at COP24 this year)
  • What the EU has done to implement the Paris Agreement targets (including the current status of the relevant legislation)