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 30, 2021, finance ministers and central bank governors from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced their support for an ASEAN Taxonomy of Sustainable Finance (ASEAN Taxonomy). Like the Taxonomy Regulation in the European Union, the ASEAN Taxonomy will serve as ASEAN’s common language for sustainable

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

On March 10, 2021, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a policy statement that it will not enforce or otherwise pursue enforcement actions against a fiduciary for failing to comply with the “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” regulation published on November 13, 2020 (the “ESG Rule“), and the “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights” regulation, published on December 16, 2020 (the “Proxy Voting Rule“). Both regulations were promulgated by the DOL shortly before the Biden administration took office. In the recent policy statement, the DOL stated that certain stakeholders, including asset managers, plan sponsors and consumer groups have expressed concern over whether these rules accurately reflect a fiduciary’s duties under ERISA and appropriately consider the utility of ESG factors in making investment decisions. As a result, the DOL intends to “revisit” each of these rules.

Continue Reading The US Department of Labor’s Non-Enforcement Policy on Recent ESG and Proxy Voting Rules

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 a speech on March 17, 2021, the CEO of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Nikhil Rathi, highlighted how the financial services regulator is prioritizing diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives in the near term. Speaking at the launch of the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter Annual Review, Mr. Rathi outlined why D&I is a key consideration for the FCA, noting that:

“We care because diversity reduces conduct risk and those firms that fail to reflect society run the risk of poorly serving diverse communities. And, at that point, diversity and inclusion become regulatory issues.”

Key steps the FCA is now taking on D&I include:

  • Working with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on a joint approach to D&I for all financial services firms; and
  • Considering whether to make diversity requirements a part of the FCA’s premium listing rules, similar to the approach taken by NASDAQ in the US.


Continue Reading UK Regulator to Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion for the Financial Services Industry

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:

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