Most UK climate litigation concerns challenges to the decisions of public authorities on projects with environmental effects or policies being adopted by Government that can have significant impacts on the environment.

A series of five recent decisions in the courts – all of which have rejected challenges based on climate grounds – show that the UK courts are extremely reluctant to call into question the decisions of national or local public authorities in the case of individual projects.  However, as we will see, there is room for challenges to be successful in limited circumstances which we consider below.Continue Reading A Wrap-Up of Recent UK Climate Change Litigation

As we alluded to in our pre-COP video (which you can watch here), the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement will be concluded at COP28.  Although it is an important milestone in terms of establishing a comprehensive picture of what has been achieved since the Paris Agreement was entered into and what remains to be done, discussions appear to be fraught.  Clearly, an exercise of this kind allows for the re-opening of old wounds around substantive matters such as how to share responsibility for mitigation efforts.  On this theme, at the opening ceremony, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, urged participants to signal the decline of the fossil fuel industry.  Current expectations are that decisions in this regard will be in the context of the Global Stocktake. Continue Reading COP28 Insights Mini-Series – Part 2

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

On October 24, 2023, the US federal banking regulators finalized interagency principles for the effective management and supervision of climate-related financial risks (the “Climate Principles”).1 The Climate Principles are targeted at larger banking organizations and are intended to convey consistent supervisory expectations regarding how climate-related financial risks should be managed.

The US federal banking

Brazil’s draft Sustainable Taxonomy Action Plan (the Action Plan), prepared by the Ministry of Finance, is currently under public consultation and receiving contributions and comments for its improvement. The deadline for taking part in the public consultation is October 20, 2023.

The development of a sustainable taxonomy seeks to address Brazil’s main environmental and social

On 12 September 2023, Brazil´s Attorney General Office, representing the Brazilian Federal Environmental Agency, filed a climate litigation lawsuit against a livestock farmer, seeking compensation for the deforestation of the Amazon Forest between 2003 and 2016.

This blog post provides a brief overview on this new lawsuit, which further strengthens a new trend for climate litigation in Brazil.Continue Reading New lawsuit filed by Brazil’s Federal Government further strengthens climate litigation trends against private entities in Brazil

Companies are increasingly recognising that climate risk poses “strategic and operational risk” that could severely impact business operations. On 3 August 2023, United Nations Global Compact released Just Transition in Supply Chains: A Business Brief (the “Brief”).  At the heart of the Brief is a call for businesses to embed the concept of ‘just transition’ into supply chain risk management, taking into account both the environmental and social impacts of their supply chains. There is real concern that as companies increase their climate mitigation and adaptation activities, such actions may have unintended consequences that negatively affect workers, small businesses and local communities that drive global supply chains. On the other hand, integrating climate and social risks into a business’ core business and risk management could be “mutually reinforcing” and could “deliver valuable co-benefits”.Continue Reading UN Global Compact Publishes Business Brief on Just Transition in Supply Chains

Given the ambitious targets for offshore wind in support of the UK’s net zero ambitions, it is recognised that the existing grid connection infrastructure may be inadequate and that it is likely that provision needs to be made for more co-ordinated grid connections that incorporate the additional capability required to connect future offshore generation projects.

The risk of an accusation of “greenwashing” is now an important concern for many companies. Greenwashing is an ill-defined concept but, nevertheless, is increasingly a source of litigation and regulatory scrutiny – with more of both expected. It carries with it reputational, regulatory and litigation risks for which companies should be prepared. Whilst the risks are always context specific – varying by jurisdiction, industry