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.

Continue Reading ESG continues to be a SEC enforcement focus

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.

Continue reading at Mayerbrown.com.

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.

Continue

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 June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court decided West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, holding that the EPA lacks authority under Section 7411(d) of the Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants through “generation shifting,” i.e., increasing the use of cleaner energy sources like wind and

On June 23, 2022, the American Bankers Association and 51 state bankers associations released a letter to the federal financial regulators that describes principles the regulators should use when developing guidance and regulations on ESG issues (“Industry Letter”). These principles reflect the industry’s view on how the government can maintain a free-market financial system that also

On June 2, 2022, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released a request for information on how climate-related financial risk is related to the derivatives markets and underlying commodities markets (the “RFI”). The RFI is intended to inform the CFTC’s next steps in this rapidly developing area and respond to the 2021 Report on Climate-Related