On November 15, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a press release providing an overview of its 2022 enforcement activities. The SEC stated that it had filed 760 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2022, which was a 9% increase from last year. The civil penalties, disgorgement, and pre-judgment interest ordered in SEC actions were $6.44 billion, the most in the SEC’s history and almost double the amount from fiscal year 2021. Of the total money ordered, civil penalties, which totaled $4.194 billion, were the highest on record.

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On October 31, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) within the US Department of the Interior finalized two Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf. This Legal Update provides further detail for companies interested in developing or financing offshore wind projects.

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Interest in ESG investing continues to attract attention globally as policymakers and regulators around the world implement policies and regulations to direct or guide behavior and protect the interests of a wide range of stakeholders. Against this backdrop, we observe a rising challenge to so-called “woke capitalism”, particularly with the recent wave of anti-ESG sentiment

At the Summer 2022 National Meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”), the Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology (H) Committee and its Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (H) Working Group held their first Collaboration Forum session on the topic of algorithmic bias. The Collaboration Forum was established at the Spring National Meeting as a

On August 24, 2022, Texas’ comptroller of public accounts released the list of financial companies subject to divestment by Texas state governmental entities unless the companies cease boycotting energy companies. This Legal Update provides further detail on this action and other states’ anti-ESG provisions and notes the risks for the investment industry and investors.

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On August 11, 2022, the Climate and Resiliency (EX) Task Force (“C&R Task Force”) and the Special (EX) Committee on Race and Insurance (“R&I Committee”) met at the Summer 2022 National Meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”). While the C&R Task Force and R&I Committee did not

The Biden Administration’s attempt to tackle the climate crisis has made its way to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Executive Order 14008, dated January 27, 2021, stated “domestic action [on climate change] must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action,” and called on government agencies to take action.[1] In response, this June, the USPTO unveiled the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program (the Pilot Program) in response to Executive Order 14008. The Pilot Program “is designed to positively impact the climate by accelerating examination of patent applications for innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”[2]

Continue Reading USPTO Rolls Out the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program in Response to Executive Order 14008 on Climate Change

On 29 June 2022, the Brazilian Superintendence of Private Insurance (“SUSEP”) published Regulation No. 666/2022, setting forth sustainability requirements applicable to the Brazilian insurance sector. Its goal is to establish guidelines for management of risks that are directly related to ESG policies of insurance and capitalization companies, local reinsurers and pension funds.

Continue Reading Brazilian insurance regulator publishes guidelines on sustainability requirements for the insurance sector

On 1 July 2022, the Brazilian Supreme Court issued a ruling on ADPF 708 (Ação de Descumprimento de Preceito Fundamental), which is another climate litigation case under the court’s scrutiny (please read here and here for more information about other climate litigation cases submitted to the Brazilian Supreme Court). In summary, political parties filed ADPF 708 in June 2020, claiming the Brazilian Federal Administration had not taken appropriate measures to ensure allocation and use of funds from the Brazilian Climate Fund, which is supposed to play an important role in “climate financing”, pursuant to the Paris Agreement, by supporting climate change mitigation projects in Brazil.

Continue Reading BRAZILIAN SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZES THE PARIS AGREEMENT AS A HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY