A new lawsuit filed by several business interest groups seeks to overturn two recent California laws relating to emissions disclosures (SB253) and climate-related financial risk disclosures (SB261), which would require thousands of covered companies to begin making disclosures as early as 2026. This Legal Update addresses the main arguments of the lawsuit, the initial reaction

Recognising the threat of climate change and the importance of sustainable development, Singapore has made a commitment to establishing a robust framework of environmental and climate change laws and regulations – an unprecedented initiative in the Southeast Asia region.

Singapore launched its key environmental strategy in 2021 with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a

On December 21, 2023, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) finalized guidance on how the banks and mortgage institutions it regulates (“New York Institutions”) should manage climate-related financial and operational risks (the “Guidance”). The Guidance establishes extensive obligations for New York Institutions, which—even if tailored by the state to be proportionate to size

On December 14, the National Congress of Brazil overrode most of the presidential vetoes to Federal Law No. 14.701/2023 (the “Time Limit Act”), which regulates Article 231 of the Constitution to set guidelines for the recognition, demarcation, use and management of Indigenous lands. The Time Limit Act was initially published on October 20, 2023, but

On 7 December 2023, the Commission tabled three legislative proposals (the “Proposal(s)”) to implement the “One-substance-one-assessment” (“OSOA”) announced in the European Green Deal and the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (“CSS”).

At present, different harmonised agencies may carry out the safety assessments of the same chemicals under different pieces of harmonized legislation, at different times and often using different data. This, according to the Commission, creates inefficiencies and may result in inconsistent and less predictable regulatory outcomes.Continue Reading Initial reflections on the recent ‘one substance, one assessment’ EU proposals

California recently enacted two laws—the Offshore Wind Expediting Act (SB 286) and the California Offshore Wind Advancement Act (AB 3)—to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy that could have significant implications for the industry and its stakeholders. The new laws aim to streamline the offshore wind permitting process, promote collaboration among state agencies

On 14 December 2023, following several rounds of inter-institutional negotiations, the European Council of the European Union (Council) and the European Parliament (Parliament) announced that a political agreement had been reached on a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CS3D).  The European Commission (Commission) had initially published its proposal for CS3D on 23 February 2022, with the Council and the Parliament issuing their own positions on the text on 30 November 2022 and 1 June 2023, respectively (see our previous blogs, here, here and here).

Inspired by the 2017 French law on Corporate Duty of Vigilance and the 2021 German Supply Chain Law (see our previous blog post), and in response to growing stakeholder expectations and demands in the EU and globally, CS3D sets out EU standards for human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD), requiring in-scope companies to mitigate their negative impact on human rights and the environment with respect to their own operations, those of their subsidiaries and those carried out by their business partners. In so doing, CS3D seeks to provide legal certainty and a level playing field as regards corporate supply chain obligations.Continue Reading Human Rights and the Environment – EU Institutions Reach Political Agreement On Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

On 28 November 2023, Baroness Young of Hornsey introduced the Commercial Organisations and Public Authorities Duty (Human Rights and Environment) Bill (the “Bill”) to the House of Lords.  If passed, the Bill would introduce mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (“HREDD”) into UK law.

The description of “reasonable” HREDD set out in the Bill is consistent with the standards set out in the UN Guiding Principles and existing and draft legislation in other jurisdictions (including the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, “CS3D”, as outlined in our previous blog here).  Companies with international footprints, including through their direct operations and supply chains, should already have in place a plan to implement enterprise HREDD processes that meet existing soft law standards and emerging hard law HREDD requirements.

While it is unclear whether the Bill would be supported by the UK Government, companies should already be taking steps to anticipate and prepare for HREDD.  The direction of travel is undoubtedly trending towards HREDD legislation and stakeholder expectations around how companies should respond continue to increase.  In particular, several jurisdictions have already adopted laws that require companies to identify, address, prevent, mitigate and remedy harms in their operations and supply chains (e.g. France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands) in advance of CS3D which will directly apply to many large non-EU based companies given its broad extraterritorial application, while others are considering such laws (e.g. CS3D) (e.g., see our previous blogs here and here).Continue Reading Business and Human Rights – could the UK adopt mandatory human rights due diligence?

A new California ”anti-greenwashing” law comes into effect on January 1, 2024.  The law – called the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act (AB 1305) (VCMDA) – casts a wide net over companies participating in the California voluntary carbon market or that make certain “green” claims within California.  The VCMDA applies regardless of revenue thresholds if