Photo of Tim Baines

Tim Baines is counsel in the London environmental and planning team of Mayer Brown. Tim has a particular interest and background in advising companies and financial institutions in the real estate, energy and sustainability sectors. He has considerable knowledge of UK planning and environmental regimes, renewables incentives regimes, and emissions and climate-related matters.

Read full bio

COP27 has now come to a close. Against the global backdrop of political and economic turbulence, many questions were asked as to what could realistically be expected as outcomes of COP27. We now have the answers to those questions.

Continue Reading COP27 Postscript – much ado about nothing?

We are half way through COP27, so (disregarding the intersessionals that will take place during 2023), the negotiations will “soon” start to focus on Dubai, the venue for next year’s COP28 summit.  Who knows how much progress will be made before then.  One point to note is that COP27 is more of an “implementation” COP, rather than one with a more grandiose task, such as ramping up climate ambition.

Continue Reading Observations from the COP27 Halfway Point

During last year’s COP26, the UK Government announced that it would mandate the disclosure of listed companies’ and financial institutions’ net zero transition plan, and that it would form a taskforce to assist private sector actors in doing so.

Coinciding with the start of COP27, the UK’s Transition Plan Taskforce (“TPT”) – a taskforce with a mandate from His Majesty’s Treasury to help enable private sector actors in the UK create robust climate transition plans to fulfil their net zero commitments – on 8 November 2022, published, for consultation, its new Disclosure Framework for companies to disclose their climate transition plans.

Importantly, the Disclosure Framework draws on existing and emerging disclosure regimes, such as the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (“TCFD”) Recommendations and the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (“ISSB”) Sustainability Disclosure Standards (for more information on the TCFD and ISSB regimes, read our previous blog posts here, here, here and here).

The TPT’s publication of its Disclosure Framework recommendations is supplemented by the TPT’s Implementation Guidance. The Implementation Guidance sets out practical steps to help private sector actors develop climate transition plans, as well as information on when, where and how to disclose such plans.

Continue Reading Climate Disclosure: the UK’s Transition Plan Taskforce launches ‘gold standard’ for climate transition plans

The 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) has opened in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, against a global backdrop of massive hikes in energy prices, inflation, increases in interest rates and uncertainty about the robustness of the implementation of the ESG regulatory agenda (particularly in the US). In 2022, heat waves in Europe killed more than 15,000 people and nearly 1,700 died as a result of flooding in Pakistan. Hurricane Ian caused widespread devastation. A recent report by economist Nicholas Stern stated that $2 trillion (£1.75 trillion) per year will be needed by 2030 to help developing countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the effects of climate breakdown —switching away from fossil fuels, investing in renewable energy and other low-carbon technology, and coping with the impacts of extreme weather.

With existing commitments to climate finance yet to be met and national policies not yet consistent with the objective of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, this year’s COP has its work cut out. What can realistically be hoped for as outcomes of COP27?

Continue Reading COP27: From Grey Glasgow to Sunny Sharm

The UK’s financial regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) – on 25 October 2022, published its “Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (“SDR“) and investments labels” Consultation Paper (CP 22/20) (the “Consultation Paper“).

This follows the FCA’s July 2021 “Dear AFM Chair” letter regarding improving the quality and clarity of authorised

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and Financial Reporting Council (“FRC”) have published the findings of their respective reviews of the first batch of premium listed companies’ Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”)-aligned disclosures (the “Reports”). The FCA’s review involved a relatively high-level quantitative assessment of climate-related disclosures made by 171 premium listed companies, and a more detailed qualitative assessment of the alignment of those disclosures with the TCFD Recommendations for 31 of those companies. The FRC’s review, on the other hand, involved a more granular analysis of the disclosures of 25 premium listed companies that are perceived to face greater climate change-related risks.

Continue Reading The UK’s FCA and FRC review the quality of companies’ TCFD disclosures

A lot can happen in ESG in three days. By Wednesday last week, there were three important developments in the world of ESG and sustainable finance from the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”), the International Capital Markets Association (“ICMA”) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). Read more

In response to growing investor demand for information concerning companies’ sustainability-related financial risks, the sustainability disclosure landscape has rapidly changed over the last decade.  In what marks one of the latest developments to the sustainability disclosure landscape, on 29 April 2022, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (“EFRAG“) – a private organisation that provides technical assistance to the European Commission – issued its initial draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards (“ESRS“) for public comment. The ESRS, which EFRAG were tasked with preparing by the European Commission as part of the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD“), set out proposed requirements for companies to report on sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks under the CSRD.

Continue Reading The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group issues draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards

On 11 February, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA“) published its Sustainable Finance Roadmap for 2022-2024 (the “Roadmap“).

The Roadmap builds on ESMA’s 2020 Strategy for Sustainable Finance and will be of interest to those in the EU and beyond looking to understand the focus and ambition of the EU’s

This blog was first published by Law.com

As usual, things ran over, but eventually the parties meeting under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and, separately but together (kind of), under the Paris Agreement, adopted two “Decisions” by consensus, being CP.26 and CMA.3 respectively.

Continue reading at Law.com.