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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 May 28 2024, the Biden administration released the “Voluntary Carbon Markets Joint Policy Statement and Principles”.

The Joint Statement makes a number of important and supportive points in favor of the VCM, noting that:

  • High-integrity VCMs, as well as carbon credit markets more broadly, have the potential to support decarbonization efforts within the United

On 16 May 2024, the UK Government published an implementation update on its development of economy-wide sustainability disclosure requirements (the “Implementation Update“). The Implementation Update, which the UK Government committed to publishing in its 2023 Green Finance Strategy (which you can read more about here), discusses:

  1. its endorsement of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards;
  2. transition plan disclosures;
  3. the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA“) Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (“SDR“) and investment labels regime;
  4. the UK Green Taxonomy; and
  5. nature-related disclosures.

Continue Reading UK government publishes implementation update in relation to sustainability disclosures

On 14 May 2024, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA“) published its final report on “Guidelines on funds’ names using ESG or sustainability-related terms” (the “Guidelines“). The Guidelines aim to provide fund managers with clear and measurable criteria to assess their ability to use ESG and/or sustainability-related terms

In a survey carried out by HSBC in 2023, 97% of real estate developers and investors said net zero was important to their business and 59% of the largest real estate companies said net zero was their top priority.

A third of companies in the sector already have Transition Plans and the push for formalising Transition Plans across the sector is increasing.

In April 2024, the Transition Plan Taskforce (“TPT”) published its final set of transition plan resources to help businesses transition to net zero.

In this article, we consider the guidance available to the real estate sector in preparing Transition Plans (“TP”).Continue Reading Transition Plans & Real Estate

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA“) has announced that three fashion retailers have signed voluntary undertakings to ensure that consumers have a clearer idea of how green their clothes really are. At the end of March 2024, ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda committed to only make green claims about their products

On 23 April 2024, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) published its “Finalised non‑handbook guidance on the Anti‑Greenwashing Rule (FG/24/3)” (the “Guidance“). The FCA has published the Guidance to help in-scope firms understand and comply with the anti-greenwashing rule, which will come into effect on 31 May 2024.Continue Reading UK Financial Conduct Authority publishes finalised guidance on its Anti-Greenwashing rule

In March 2023, the European Commission proposed the Green Claims Directive (the “Directive“), which aims to tackle greenwashing (read our previous update on the Directive here).  On 12 March 2024, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Directive at first reading. This move further complements the EU’s commitment to empowering consumers, ensuring fair competition and fostering a more environmentally responsible marketplace.Continue Reading The Green Claims Directive: European Parliament approves at first reading

On 19 March 2024, GRESB – an investor-led organisation that provides standardised and validated data to assess the sustainability-related performance of real estate assets and portfolios – announced the upcoming launch of “REAL Solutions“. REAL Solutions is a new suite of tools designed to provide real asset managers and investors with more granular ESG data, which they are demanding in order to take advantage of opportunities in the sustainable investment market and to comply with increasingly burdensome ESG-related regulations.Continue Reading GRESB announces launch of its new suite of ESG-evaluation tools, REAL Solutions

The UK Government launched a Consultation on the introduction of a UK CBAM on 21 March 2024.  The Consultation closes on 13 June 2024.  This follows the announcement, in December 2023, that the UK would implement a UK CBAM similar to the EU CBAM which came into effect on 1 October 2023.

In this update

On 26 March 2024, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA“) published a consultation on its first set of regulatory technical standards (“RTS“) under the EU Green Bond Standard Regulation (the “Consultation“). The Consultation addresses mandates relating to the registration and supervision of external reviewers and aims to clarify the criteria used for assessing an application for registration.Continue Reading ESMA publishes Consultation Paper on European Green Bond Standard Regulation