On March 10, 2021, the UK government concluded its public consultation on climate risk regulations under the Pension Schemes Act 2021. The government is now analyzing public feedback and preparing consultation conclusions.

In a new podcast, Mayer Brown Counsel Beth Brown provides background on the Pension Schemes Act 2021 and outlines the regulations in the

On March 25, 2021, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued for public comment “Proposed Guidance for New York Domestic Insurers on Managing the Financial Risks of Climate Change” (Guidance). Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, and must be made

The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China approved China’s 14th Five Year Plan (the “Plan”) at the annual “two sessions” in early March 2021, setting forth the overarching economic and social policy directive for the country in the coming five years. Released months after President Xi Jinping’s carbon neutrality pledge of September 2020, which targets to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and reach carbon neutrality in 2060, the Plan is expected to provide a clear roadmap for achieving the climate goals.

The Plan specifies binding indicators for energy intensity and CO2 emissions intensity, which demand a 13.5% reduction in energy consumption per unit of GDP and a 18% decrease in CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 2025. In addition, the Plan proposes to establish a modern energy system, detailing the construction of major energy projects and setting the goal of increasing the share of non-fossil energy in China’s total energy consumption from 15.8% to around 20% by 2025. The Plan also calls for regional and departmental action plans on peaking CO2 emission before 2030 and acknowledges that the country would make efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.


Continue Reading Key Policy Directive for China’s Energy Transition: China’s 14th Five Year Plan

Speaking at the Roundtable of the China Development Forum on March 21, 2021, the Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Yi Gang, outlined the central bank’s green finance priorities over the near- to mid-term. Governor Yi began by highlighting China’s goal of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon

Offshore wind (OSW) project development in the United States continues its rapid pace. In addition to the significant “E” factors already present in such projects, several recent OSW solicitations undertaken and executive orders released during the COVID-19 pandemic have included specific “S” factors.

In our Legal Update, we provide further detail on OSW

In another step toward the integration of climate factors into the US corporate disclosure landscape, Acting Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Allison Herren Lee, issued a request for public input on climate change disclosures on March 15, 2021.

The request seeks input relating to 15 climate-related disclosure topics, including:

At the end of 2020, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) surveyed its membership to identify its priorities for the growth of derivatives-related ESG issues. The membership answered that it expected growth in ESG derivatives and communicated a strong desire for documentation standardization.

On February 17, 2021, the US Climate Finance Working

On February 24, 2021, Malaysia’s Joint Committee on Climate Change (JC3) held its fourth meeting to discuss regulatory priorities to support the financial industry’s response to climate-related risks in 2021.

The JC3 was established in 2019 to pursue collaborative actions for building climate resilience within Malaysia’s financial sector. The committee is chaired by

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of ESG-related announcements coming from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chair and staff. The most recent press release announced that the SEC has created a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement:

[T]he Climate and ESG Task Force will develop initiatives to proactively identify ESG-related misconduct.  The task force will also coordinate the effective use of Division resources, including through the use of sophisticated data analysis to mine and assess information across registrants, to identify potential violations.
The initial focus will be to identify any material gaps or misstatements in issuers’ disclosure of climate risks under existing rules.  The task force will also analyze disclosure and compliance issues relating to investment advisers’ and funds’ ESG strategies.

SEC registrants may be wondering if these announcements change their legal obligations and what actions they should take in response in order to ensure compliance. We discuss the implications for registrants in this Blog Post.


Continue Reading US SEC Announces the Creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force

With the surge of climate and stakeholder litigation all over the globe–comprising climate, supply chain and human rights issues–not only should governments be concerned, but mainly the private sector. It is not new that, in addition to creating stakeholder engagement and pushing forward public policies, ESG concerns pose significant reputational and financial risks, particularly to corporations. This is not only true for those companies dedicated to carbon-intensive activities or exposed to supply chain liabilities, but also to financial institutions enabling the development and expansion of such activities.

This is a particularly relevant matter in Brazil, which already relies on a well-established legal and case law framework capable of supporting sanctions and prosecution against corporations and financial institutions deemed liable in connection with environmental degradation.

In this Blog Post, we discuss the existing legal framework in Brazil with respect to environmental degradation, and how that framework might apply to the broader range of ESG issues, from climate to supply chain and human rights liability.


Continue Reading Climate and Stakeholder Litigation: Why Does It Matter to Companies Operating In Brazil?