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Oliver Williams is an associate in the Banking & Finance practice of the London office. He is also an active member of the firm’s Global ESG Group.

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On 20 December 2023, the Council of the EU reached an agreement on its negotiating mandate on a proposal for a regulation on ESG ratings  (the “Proposed EU Regulation“). This builds on the European Commission’s proposal, which was published on 13 June 2023.

The EU’s desire to regulate ESG rating agencies is a response to increasing concerns from a variety of stakeholders about the reliability, comparability and transparency of ESG ratings and the data behind these ratings.Continue Reading Council of the EU agrees on proposal to regulate ESG ratings providers

As we alluded to in our pre-COP video (which you can watch here), the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement will be concluded at COP28.  Although it is an important milestone in terms of establishing a comprehensive picture of what has been achieved since the Paris Agreement was entered into and what remains to be done, discussions appear to be fraught.  Clearly, an exercise of this kind allows for the re-opening of old wounds around substantive matters such as how to share responsibility for mitigation efforts.  On this theme, at the opening ceremony, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, urged participants to signal the decline of the fossil fuel industry.  Current expectations are that decisions in this regard will be in the context of the Global Stocktake. Continue Reading COP28 Insights Mini-Series – Part 2

This mini Q&A series will follow COP28, providing you with a quick and easy way to stay informed as the discussion evolves. Our coverage will highlight significant and recent developments from a legal perspective, allowing you to assess the impact of these on your business. 

In this video, Tim Baines (Environmental partner, London, and founding

On 28 November 2023, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) published its “Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (“SDR“) and investment labels” policy statement (PS23/16) (the “Policy Statement“). The Policy Statement introduces a set of new rules aimed at tackling greenwashing, including investment product sustainability labels and restrictions on how terms

The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA“) has today published three useful explanatory notes covering key topics of the European sustainable finance framework, namely: a) the definition of “sustainable investments”; b) the application of do no significant harm (“DNSH“) principle; and c) the use of estimates.

The explanatory notes set out

Our international ESG team has been keeping an eye on what’s going on with regards to green taxonomies. With so much activity already this year, we summarize some of the key developments below.

EU

We recently published this reminder of the EU’s taxonomy framework. Our publication is particularly relevant to non-EU groups with large subsidiaries

The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD“) entered into force on 5 January 2023 and the associated European Sustainability Reporting Standards (“ESRS“) were adopted by the European Commission on 31 July 2023. Together, the CSRD and ESRS create detailed sustainability reporting requirements that will apply to a significant number of EU and non-EU companies and substantially increase the scope of their sustainability reporting.

Application of the rules is now imminent and, for some, CSRD reporting periods will begin from 1 January 2024.

In this update, we take a look at the implications of the CSRD for non-EU companies and what companies can do to prepare.Continue Reading The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is upon us – what non-EU companies should know and do

On 31 July 2023, the European Commission adopted the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (“ESRS“). EU and non-EU entities subject to the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD“) will be required to report against the ESRS, making the development of interest to entities preparing for reporting under the CSRD regime.Continue Reading European Commission adopts the European Sustainability Reporting Standards