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

On October 21, 2021, the United States Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) released its 133-page report on Climate-Related Financial Risk (Report) and related Factsheet. The Report discusses how climate-related financial risks can implicate financial stability and declares climate-related finance risk as an emerging threat to financial stability. In a new

As interest in, and demand for, sustainable goods and services continue to increase rapidly, so too has the volume of statements, assertions and claims, often in the context of advertising, regarding the sustainability credentials of those goods and services.

In a further sign of the continued trend towards stricter regulation, and enforcement, in the context of so-called “greenwashing”, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published its “Green Claims Code” (the “Code“), a guidance note for businesses on making environmental claims when advertising goods and services in the UK.


Continue Reading The UK’s CMA Publishes Guidance on Environmental Claims Used in Advertising

“… we renew our call on all governments to develop, implement, and enforce mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence requirements for businesses headquartered or operating within their own jurisdictions or, where appropriate, to further strengthen these regulatory regimes where they already exist.” – a statement from 94 investors representing over $6.3 trillion in AUM

On 7 October 2021, 94 investors representing over $6.3 trillion in assets under management and advisement, sent a statement to European Commissioners and the European Parliament, voicing their support for mandated human rights and environmental due diligence (mHREDD) (the “Statement“). The Statement was sent in light of the upcoming European Commission legislative proposal on Sustainable Corporate Governance. The proposal would require companies to consider their human rights and environmental impacts, allowing them to better manage sustainability related matters in their value chains and overall operations.


Continue Reading 94 Investors Representing Over $6 Trillion of AUM Voice Support for Mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence

In September, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the omnibus, 956-page climate and energy legislative package titled the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (the “CEJA”). The CEJA has an immediate effective date. In a Legal Update, we cover the amendments the CEJA makes to Illinois law with respect to decarbonization of the electric generation

The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance (Division) published a sample letter with comments that the Staff intends to issue to public companies regarding their climate change disclosures—or lack thereof—in SEC filings. As explained in a prior Mayer Brown post, Commissioner Lee, when she was Acting Chair of the SEC earlier this year, directed the Staff to increase its attention on the ways in which public companies implement the SEC’s 2010 Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change, which provides direction to companies regarding the SEC rules that may require disclosure about climate change, despite the fact that climate change is not explicitly referenced in the existing rules.

The SEC’s disclosure requirements are largely principles-based and may require different information from different companies, including climate change-related information.


Continue Reading US SEC Division of Corporation Finance Publishes Sample Letter to Companies Regarding Climate Change Disclosures

On September 15, 2021, the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) released its first “Report on Social, Environmental and Climate-related Risks and Opportunities”. Based on the recommendations by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), and the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), the publication highlights the potential impacts of social, environmental, and climate-related issues on Brazil’s economy and financial stability, and details the initiatives aimed at assessing, disclosing and managing ESG risks and opportunities within the BCB structure and in the financial system.

Continue Reading Brazil’s Central Bank and National Monetary Council Publish New Rules on Disclosure and Management of Social, Environmental and Climate-related Risks

This article follows-up on our previous Blog Post exploring the “jargon” of the EU Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), an ambitious political action plan for chemicals regulation in the EU that was released in October 2020.

Today, we are digging into another key concept of the CSS: the concept of “one substance, one assessment” (hereafter referred to as “OSOA“), which is essential for the Commission, and more generally for the European Union, to simplify and consolidate the chemicals legal framework.


Continue Reading Simplifying and Recasting the Assessment of Chemicals in the EU: A Challenge for the Administrative Puzzle

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