Environment, Land & Resources

Insights and commentary on environmental issues and developments impacting business in the US and across the world

The revised Code is likely to encourage a more robust and substantive review of ESG issues by institutional investors. By Paul A. Davies and Michael Green Background The UK Stewardship Code (the Code) was originally published in 2010 following a review of corporate governance. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has responsibility for the Code, and promotes the long-term success of companies, outlines principles underlying an effective board, and fosters active investor monitoring and engagement of…
TCI’s proposal is poised to become its own carbon reduction program with a focus exclusively on the transportation sector, alongside RGGI’s existing cap and trade program. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, David B. Amerikaner, and Benjamin W. Einhouse The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) may soon have a transportation-focused companion to its functioning power plant-focused cap-and-trade program. Operating under the banner of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), most of…
The framework represents China’s first comprehensive regulation of environmental risks from chemical substances. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s (MEE’s) draft Regulation on Environmental Risk Assessment and Control of Chemical Substances (Regulation) is likely to have broad implications for companies that manufacture, process, import, or export more than 100kg of any chemical substance in China. The framework represents China’s first comprehensive regulation of environmental risks from…
California proposes phasing out the use of SF6 in GIE and further reducing allowable GHG emissions from such equipment. By Aron Potash and Kimberly D. Farbota California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff recently published a discussion draft (Draft Amendments) of potential changes to the current Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear (SF6 Regulation). Key proposed changes to the SF6 Regulation include: Phasing out sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas-insulated equipment (GIE) Further reducing…
The decision gives landowners and developers a powerful tool to protect their interests and raises the bar for future critical habitat designations in unoccupied habitat. By Janice Schneider, Nikki Buffa, and Brian McCall The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., 586 U.S. (2018) has important implications for landowners facing “critical habitat” designations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for areas that are unoccupied by listed species.…
China’s MEE is seeking comment on new chemical regulation framework, which includes a comprehensive environmental risk assessment. Paul A. Davies, Ethan Prall, and R. Andrew Westgate In January 2019, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) issued a draft Regulation on Environmental Risk Assessment, and Control of Chemical Substances (the Chemical Substances Regulation or CSR) in conjunction with 20 other ministries and agencies, including the Supreme People’s Court, the National Development and Reform…
A new report by ShareAction, a charity and pressure group, reflects growing demands for companies to disclose ESG and climate-related information. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green Background Pressure continues to grow on asset managers and their advisors to incorporate companies’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and climate risks in their screening and assessment of any investment. These demands have focused on investments in equities and private equity funds so far. However,…
CARB continues to drive lower NOx emissions for heavy-duty engines and vehicles on the road. By Arthur Foerster and Reed McCalib On January 23, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop to discuss the agency’s ongoing regulatory emissions overhaul for on-highway, heavy-duty diesel engines and vehicles. Based on the agency’s position that reducing oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from heavy-duty vehicles is necessary to attain air quality standards, CARB staff made clear…
The Coal Commission’s phase-out proposal includes a €40 billion federal spending package for affected states. By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch A German government-appointed body, known colloquially as the “Coal Commission”, has agreed to end coal-fired power generation by 2038. In an effort to meet Germany’s climate goals under the Paris Agreement, the Coal Commission proposes to gradually reduce Germany’s current coal power capacity of 42.6 GW to 30 GW by 2022 and 17 GW in 2030. A…
Waste producers must comply with new criteria and procedures for objects and products to benefit from end of waste status. By Paul Davies The French government has developed many measures to foster circular economy approaches. Most recently, a Ministerial Order of 11 December 2018 (Order) sets out criteria and procedures to end the waste status of certain objects and chemical products, to encourage their preparation for re-use. The French Code of the Environment[i] defines…