The court’s decision is the latest development in the litigation over the SEC’s final rules, which have faced numerous legal challenges since their adoption.

By Paul A. Davies, Sarah E. Fortt, and Betty M. Huber

On March 15, 2024, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an administrative stay of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently finalized climate disclosure rules, in response to a March 8 request.[1] Petitioners had requested the stay in light

LIDW23 member-hosted event provided insights into current and future trends in the greenwashing space.

By Sophie J. Lamb KC and Aleksandra Dulska

Latham & Watkins recently hosted a panel discussion during London International Disputes Week on the topic of greenwashing and how English law continues to evolve and adapt in order to meet the needs of international businesses and other stakeholders engaging with this issue. The event provided a platform to explore:

(1) The key drivers of greenwashing complaints

(2) The challenges organisations face when trying to define and explain their sustainability plans (including against the backdrop of rapidly evolving reporting guidelines)

(3) The associated litigation trends as observed globally

The panel included the Honourable Mrs Justice Cockerill DBE (Commercial Court Judge, High Court), Sophie J. Lamb KC (Partner, Latham & Watkins), Adam Heppinstall KC (Barrister, Henderson Chambers), and Meghan Sheehan (Director and Head of ESG and Sustainability, Kekst CNC).

This blog post summarises the key themes of discussion that took place and provides interesting insights as to what may lie ahead.

The program will include a multi-jurisdictional cap-and-invest program and aims to address environmental justice and equity concerns.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Benjamin Einhouse, and Brian McCall

On December 21, 2020, the Governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, as well as the Mayor of the District of Columbia, announced that their respective jurisdictions would establish the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) and released a memorandum of understanding (MOU) describing the agreed-upon principles for adoption and implementation of the TCI-P. While not part of the MOU, the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina released a statement signaling their desire to work with the states party to the MOU and the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) in general. On March 1, 2021, the TCI released draft Model Rules for public review. Once finalized, the Model Rules are intended to be adapted for use by each TCI-P signatory jurisdiction via state-specific rulemaking processes.

The principles are intended to guide the industry’s engagement with policymakers concerning the ongoing economic transition away from carbon.

By Paul A. Davies, Jason C. Ewart, and Edward R. Kempson

The US Climate Finance Working Group, a group of leading financial services trade associations, has published “Financing a US Transition to a Sustainable Low-Carbon Economy” — a set of principles for how the financial services industry can play a role in addressing climate change.

The principles, not meant to be exhaustive, are intended to serve as a useful framework for the industry’s engagement with policymakers to find practical, market-based solutions to the challenges and opportunities related to climate risk and the ongoing economic transition away from carbon. The working group noted that while individual institutions can play a significant role in the global effort to address climate change, policy must provide a critical foundation for driving the transition.

Webcast addresses recent EPA and DOJ policy developments with important implications for permitting, enforcement, and litigation.

By Joel C. Beauvais, Julia A. Hatcher, Karl A. Karg, Claudia M. O’Brien, and Stacey L. VanBelleghem

Latham’s Environment, Land & Resources Department hosted a 60-minute webcast on March 29, “New Trump Administration Policies on Environmental Enforcement, Settlements, and Clean Air Act Implementation.” Partners provided an overview of important policy clarifications and changes arising in recent months — including the

By Aaron Franklin

The United States has the deepest, most liquid capital markets in the world, attracting issuers from across the globe. To sell to US investors, these issuers must comply with US securities laws, entailing a more rigorous diligence and disclosure process. Issuers must weigh the benefits of increased demand against the additional costs, but the outcome should not depend on whether the bonds will be green or otherwise have sustainability credentials.

The US securities laws that apply to bond deals include a variety of rules on who can issue and purchase bonds, such as the registration requirements in the Securities Act of 1933, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, and the Investment Company Act of 1940. But the real concern for bond issuers and underwriters is the threat of investors claiming securities fraud under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, using “Rule 10b-5.” In general, a plaintiff is entitled to damages under Rule 10b-5 if a bond issuer or underwriter misrepresented or omitted a material fact in connection with the purchase or sale of the bond, with the intent to deceive or with recklessness, and the plaintiff lost money by relying on that misrepresentation or omission. This right to litigate for “material omissions” does not exist in most other jurisdictions, even where contractual fraud claims are possible. To avoid lawsuits under Rule 10b-5, issuers and underwriters (and their legal counsel) typically spend more time and effort (relative to deals not sold to US investors) investigating the affairs of the issuer and ensuring the offering disclosure is sufficiently robust.