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Paul Forrester is a respected corporate finance and securities lawyer whose practice is especially focused on structured credit, including collateralized loan obligations, energy (including oil and gas, utilities, shipping, refinery and pipeline) financings and project development, and financing (especially concerning renewable energy, industrial, petrochemical, power and transportation projects and infrastructure).

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The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), a global task force initiated to monitor the integrity of voluntary markets for the purchase and sale of carbon offset credits, held a global launch event and issued its consultation report (VCMI Report) in late July. The VCMI Report seeks to provide further guidance

On June 28, 2021, the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF), a consultative and advisory group to the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation (Foundation), will meet to update its members on the status of the Foundation’s sustainability reporting project.

The ASAF update reported on (1) the April 2021 Feedback Statement (Feedback Statement) to the earlier September 2020 Consultation Paper and (2) the Exposure Draft (Exposure Draft) of proposed targeted amendments to the Foundation’s Constitution (Constitution) to accommodate a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) that would set proposed IFRS Sustainability Standards, comments on which are due by July 29, 2021.

Continue Reading Setting Standards for the Standard-Setters: Recent Developments in the IFRS Foundation’s Sustainability Reporting Project

On June 21, 2021, US financial regulators met with US President Joe Biden to discuss the US economy and update him on their efforts to address climate-related risks.  According to the White House readout of the meeting, the regulators said “they were making steady progress” on implementing President Biden’s executive order on climate-related risk. The briefing follows last week’s passage of HR 1187, the Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act, by the US House of Representatives1 by a vote of 215 to 214. HR 1187 would mandate that the SEC create an ESG disclosure regime for public companies and provides numerous statutory requirements for those disclosures, including climate-related disclosures. Although the bill is unlikely to become law due to expected opposition in the US Senate, which requires a 60-vote supermajority to pass legislation, the passage of the HR 1187 by the House – combined with President Biden’s focus on climate-related risks in his meeting with financial regulators –  should bolster and influence the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ongoing development of new ESG disclosure requirements for US public companies under its existing statutory authorities. With regulators telling President Biden that they are “making steady progress,” new disclosure requirements for US public companies appear to be just around the corner.

Continue Reading The US Moving Toward Adopting New Climate Disclosures

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, US President Biden signed an Executive Order, entitled “Climate-Related Financial Risk” (Climate Risk EO), that sets the stage for the US federal government, including its financial regulatory agencies, to begin to incorporate climate-risk and other ESG issues into financial regulation. The Climate Risk EO further demonstrates the

On May 4, 2021, the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (“ACPR”  –  the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority) published a first assessment of financial risks stemming from climate change and the main results of a climate pilot exercise (which many have referred to as a climate risk “stress” test) conducted

On April 21, 2021, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money toward sustainable activities across the European Union.

The measures adopted include:

  • The EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act, which aims to support sustainable investment by making it clearer which economic activities most contribute to meeting

On April 15, 2021, General Mills, a leading global food company, announced that it had closed the first-ever sustainability-linked loan (SLL) facility for a US consumer packaged goods company.

The $2.7 billion five-year multi-currency revolving credit facility (RCF) was arranged by Bank of America (which acts as administrative agent) and syndicated to a significant number of banks and other lenders.

The RCF was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and includes a matrix that will adjust the applicable interest rate and fees under the RCF based on General Mills’ reductions in its greenhouse gas emissions in owned operations (i.e., only Scope 1 and 2 emissions) and its use of renewable electricity for global operations.

Continue Reading US Interest in Sustainability-Linked Loans on the Rise

On April 14, 2021, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) issued two climate-related reports—one on climate-related risk drivers and their transmission channels and a companion report on measurement methodologies for financial risks. Among the reports’ findings:

  • Banks and the banking system are exposed to climate change through macro- and microeconomic transmission

On March 25, 2021, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued for public comment “Proposed Guidance for New York Domestic Insurers on Managing the Financial Risks of Climate Change” (Guidance). Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, and must be made