FTSE Russell – a leading provider of benchmarks that are used extensively by investors across the globe – has removed 34 companies from the FTSE4 Good All-World benchmark (the “FTSE4Good Index”). The companies were removed for failing to meet climate performance standards imposed by the newly introduced ‘Climate Change Score’ system, which is based on parameters created by the Transition Pathway Initiative (“TPI”), an initiative backed by 132 investors with over US$50 trillion in assets under management.Continue Reading Climate performance – FTSE4Good Index looks to hold companies to higher environmental standards

Regulators are increasingly mandating companies to make environmental disclosures (see here, here and here).

The CDP – a not-for-profit organisation aiming to encourage the disclosure of environmental risk – has measured and scored the effectiveness of companies’ 2022 environmental disclosures in their latest ‘A List’ Report (the “CDP Report”). The CDP Report shows that a mere 12 of the 18,700 companies that responded to the CDP’s questionnaires scored a ‘triple A’ for their environmental disclosures, whilst over 29,500 companies scored an ‘F’ after failing to provide any data to the CDP.

According to the CDP, over 680 investors with combined assets of US $130 trillion, and over 280 large purchasers with US $6.4 trillion in buying power requested over 48,000 companies to disclose environmental information through the CDP in 2022. Continue Reading Mandatory Disclosure: companies’ environmental disclosures analysed in the CDP’s 2022 ‘A List’ Report

On 20 December 2022, the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (the “Steering Group”) co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) and the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) announced that it has entered into a collaboration arrangement with CDP, an international non-profit organisation that runs the global environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions.Continue Reading HKMA and SFC Cross-Agency Steering Group Announces Collaboration with CDP to Facilitate Climate-Related Risk Disclosures by Small and Medium Enterprises

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) is taking place in Montreal, Canada, until next Monday (December 19).  It has been attracting much attention due to negotiations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which is hoped to be agreed upon in the next few days. This would be an important milestone has base been described as the “biodiversity equivalent of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change”.  The aims is to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and establish long-term goals by 2050.Continue Reading Observations from the COP15 (Biodiversity Conference) Halfway Point

On December 8, 2022, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“BCBS”) released guidance to clarify how climate-related financial risks may be captured in existing capital and liquidity requirements for banking organizations (“Climate FAQs”). The Climate FAQs are noteworthy because they indicate that standard setters believe climate-related financial risks should be included in bank capital requirements and

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

On 3 October 2022, the European Commission (“Commission”) adopted a revised notice on informal guidance (“Revised Notice”) that provides an expanded mechanism for businesses to obtain enhanced comfort – through so-called “guidance letters” – on the application of the EU competition rules to novel or unresolved questions.

The Revised Notice permits businesses that have doubts