Timed to coincide with the opening of COP26—the UN Climate Change Conference—and citing his prior commitment to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50-52 percent by 20301 and achieving a net-zero economy by 2050, on November 1, 2021, President Biden announced the launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience
J. Paul Forrester
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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US FSOC Report: Climate-Related Financial Risk an Emerging Threat
On October 21, 2021, the United States Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) released its 133-page report on Climate-Related Financial Risk (Report) and related Factsheet. The Report discusses how climate-related financial risks can implicate financial stability and declares climate-related finance risk as an emerging threat to financial stability. In a new…
Biden Administration Acts to Spur Sustainable Aviation
On September 9, 2021, the Biden administration issued a fact sheet (Fact Sheet) describing recent actions that aim to produce 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) annually, reduce aviation emissions by 20% by 2030, and grow good-paying, union jobs.
The Fact Sheet notes that “aviation (including all non-military flights within and departing from the United States) represents 11% of United States transportation-related emissions. Without increased action, aviation’s share of emissions is likely to increase as more people and goods fly” and that “President Biden proposed a Sustainable Aviation Fuel tax credit as part of the Build Back Better Agenda. This credit will help cut costs and rapidly scale domestic production of sustainable fuels for aviation. The proposed tax credit requires at least a 50% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and offers increased incentive for greater reductions.”
In this Blog Post, we highlight important aspects of the Fact Sheet, as well as related initiatives from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in support of SAF development in the United States.…
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US Federal Insurance Office Issues RFI on the Insurance Sector and Climate-Related Financial Risks
On August 31, 2021, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) of the US Department of the Treasury published a request for information (RFI) on the insurance sector and climate-related financial risks for the FIO’s future work on:
- insurance supervision and regulation,
- insurance markets and mitigation/resilience, and
- insurance sector engagement.
Citing its role…
Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative Consultation Report Released
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…
Setting Standards for the Standard-Setters: Recent Developments in the IFRS Foundation’s Sustainability Reporting Project
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.…
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The US Moving Toward Adopting New Climate Disclosures
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.
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President Biden Signs Executive Order on Addressing Climate Change Risk through Financial Regulation
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…
The Results Are In! France’s ACPR Publishes Report Of 2020 Pilot Climate Risk Assessment (AKA Stress Test) For Participating French Banks And Insurers
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…
Biden Administration Pledges 50-52% GHG Reduction by 2030
In a widely anticipated announcement made at the commencement of the Leaders Summit on Climate, President Biden committed the United States to a 50-52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) “pollution” from 2005 levels by 2030.
The announcement also notes that President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement and…