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.

As widely heralded, yesterday marked the start of COP 26, the latest in a seemingly endless succession of climate negations.

Let’s look back to COP 15 (2009), the first COP I attended.  Back then, hundreds of pages of negotiating text (littered with square brackets illustrating undecided points and concepts) went into one end of the process.  Negotiations were on a dual track, with one stream attempting to agree a second Kyoto Protocol commitment period, and another trying to agree a broader way forward which would apply to global emissions.  Targets under the Kyoto Protocol covered around 25% of global emissions and did not constrain those of, for example, China and India.  The US had walked away from the Protocol soon after it was agreed.


Continue Reading The View From COP26

Many factors are putting pressure on corporates and financial institutions to address climate change. The UK is currently rolling out mandatory economy-wide disclosure in accordance with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations. Beyond this lies immense investor and stakeholder pressure, including by way of shareholder resolutions, and increased media, NGO

It was recently reported, on 8 September 2021, that investors managing USD 2.3 trillion in assets called for standardised climate and environmental disclosure from more than 1,000 privately held portfolio companies.  The investors, who joined a growing chorus advocating for improved disclosures around environmental issues, requested the private companies to provide such data through the non-profit disclosure platform, CDP, which provides a mechanism for climate disclosures that align with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).  The TCFD recommendations were published in June 2017, and have accelerated the focus on climate disclosures by providing the leading framework for disclosures relating to the financial impacts of climate-related risks.

But what are the TCFD recommendations, and how can companies prepare for reporting in compliance with them?


Continue Reading TCFD Recommendations: An Update on Climate Disclosures

Much has been going on over a hot summer of ESG (incidentally, July is reported to have been the world’s hottest month ever recorded). In this Blog Post, we help make sense of the busy season and highlight important developments across Europe and Asia, including:

  • The EU’s “Fit for 55” Package and Taxonomy
  • Carbon Disclosures in the UK
  • The Launch of the TNFD
  • Increasing ESG Litigation
  • Climate-related Regulation in Asia


Continue Reading The Summer of ESG: Developments from Europe and Asia

The EU has presented its proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The mechanism is closely aligned with the EU’s emissions trading scheme and the purpose of the CBAM is to be able to increase the EU’s internal carbon price without pushing production offshore. This risk of “carbon leakage” arises when energy-intensive

On May 17-19, 2021, Risk.net hosted their ESG and Sustainable Investing conference, bringing together 350 senior directors to explore how ESG principles and sustainable investing will re-shape the global financial market. Speaking on a panel discussing stewardship, fiduciary duty and shareholder engagement – “Using investor influence for a positive, transformational change” – Mark Manning, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) sustainable finance technical specialist, is reported to have said that “an investor either needs to inject capital into new, purposeful and impactful projects, or use active-investor stewardship and influence to drive meaningful change in investing companies’ strategies”.

Continue reading for more details and analysis regarding stewardship and sustainable investing.


Continue Reading Investment Stewardship in the UK: The Regulatory Perspective

Two recent developments indicate the priority importance of, and increasing attention to, ESG data and technology:

  • MSCI (a provider of decision support tools and services for the global investment community) recently listed “The ESG Data Deluge” as one of its five ESG Trends for 2021. MSCI recognizes that the voluntary disclosure of ESG data by companies is increasing at a time when mandatory disclosure regulations are taking shape around the world, creating the “perfect storm” for a flood of company-related ESG data.
  • Meanwhile, ESMA (the EU securities regulator) recently called for the supervision and regulation of the ESG ratings and assessment industry, which relies on a range of ESG inputs, including company disclosures, to rate and analyze the sustainability performance of companies. These ratings and analyses are in turn used by a range of market participants as ESG data inputs for a variety of purposes.

As a flood of ESG data converges with a call for increased regulation by a critical securities regulator, data issues are likely to stay at the forefront of the ESG discussion for the foreseeable future. In this Blog Post, we highlight the significant commercial interest in ESG data and tech, as well as how some deficiencies in ESG data have led to increased regulatory attention.


Continue Reading The Future of Data and Tech in the ESG Era