Climate change transition risks
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The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as COP26) is taking place in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November 2021. With the summit approaching, we have recently seen a plethora of proposed governmental policy supporting the UK’s commitment to transition to a net zero economy.
It will not come as a shock to most that climate change and climate action is at the forefront of the national agenda. The recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report provided a stark warning as to the possible consequences of climate change, should action not be taken without delay.
Climate change and environmental catastrophes are now a common theme in daily news. The much publicised report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested that we are closer to the environmental point of no return than leading scientists had previously contemplated, with human activity changing the climate in unprecedented and irreversible ways.
A summary of ESG developments, including two perspectives of the impacts of Milieudefensie et al v Royal Dutch Shell plc [26.05.21] on financial institutions and insurers – one from the UK and one from the USA; the latest update on sustainability reporting; and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy proposals to strengthen the UK’s framework for corporate governance.
Storm clouds ahead: The US Supreme Court sidesteps issues relevant to ESG and climate change, while international and other pressures on corporate and D&O disclosures continue to mount
The US Supreme Court is trying its best to sidestep any material rulings on climate change decisions in view of its recent BP P.L.C. et al. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore decision and its refusal to review the Chevron Corp. v. City of Oakland, California case, wherein the Ninth Circuit held that climate change cases against large oil companies belong in state court.
The recent decision by a Dutch court against Shell (Milieudefensie et al. v Royal Dutch Shell plc) has expanded climate litigation into the protection of fundamental rights and the imposition of positive duties on companies in respect of their future actions.
The global challenge to transition to a carbon neutral economy increasingly dictates that climate conservation becomes an integral part of decision making in the private and public sector. The Climate Change Act (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 has legislated the UK target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050.
COVID-19 prepared the industry for the potential impacts of Brexit in many ways. The issues faced from March 2020 onwards (including delays in imports, shortages of materials, increased prices and labour issues) were, in a sense, pre-empting what might come when the United Kingdom officially left the European Union.
In our previous article, we looked at the challenges facing designers in the energy from waste (EfW) sector. Since then, and putting aside the impact of COVID-19, it is fair to say that the UK’s growth in this sector has slowed considerably. But that is not due to a lack of appetite for investment. This article looks at the recent EfW deals which have been struck, the future for EfW projects in the UK, and the challenges which building designers face.
Sustainability in the Middle East - transitioning to a lower carbon economy by building smart cities?
Imagine a city where you land in the airport from your flight, walk through and be taken on a high-speed underground only a short ride from the city centre. The facial recognition software inbuilt into the system already knows where you’re going – so an auto-shuttle picks you up to take you to your hotel. No need to check-in – the hotel already knows it’s you and you can sign into the room. The city has no cars, no streets and no carbon emissions. Everything you need is within walking distance.