Bank of England launches Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario

On Tuesday 8 June, the Bank of England launched its Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (BES), a stress-testing exercise on the financial risks from climate change. While the regulator’s rhetoric may sound like a call to arms, the BES hopes to understand the issues the financial system faces to ensure that real change is effected by … Read more

A climate change duty of care: Sharma v Minister for the Environment

The recent decision of Justice Bromberg in Sharma v Minister for the Environment [2021] FCA 560 found that a novel duty of care is owed by the Minister for the Environment to Australian children who might suffer potential “catastrophic harm” from the climate change implications of approving the extension to the Vickery coal mine in New South Wales. The decision is likely to have consequences for environmental impact assessment and approval of projects with a material emissions profile under the EPBC Act, as well as other similar regimes. The decision has been handed down in the context of a growing body of case law in Australia and overseas recognising the impact of climate change on government decision-making and private law duties. We expect further actions in Australia by plaintiffs seeking to expand these duties on both governments and private companies in analogous contexts. Read more

Dutch court orders Shell to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 relative to 2019 levels in accordance with Paris climate agreement

On 26 May 2021, the Hague District Court handed down its judgment in the Milieudefensie et al. vs. Royal Dutch Shell (“RDS“) case regarding RDS’s compliance with the objectives of the 2016 Paris Agreement. The claim was brought by seven environmental associations and NGOs acting as co-claimants –  led by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth … Read more

Australian Government splashes the cash in positive step towards cutting emissions

The Australian Government has committed over AUS$1.1 billion for hydrogen, CCS/CCUS and international technology partnerships. The funding comes from the 2021-2022 Federal budget and broadly consists of: AUS$275.5m for the development of four hydrogen hubs AUS$263.7m for the development of CCS/CCUS projects AUS$565.8m for international technology partnerships This week’s Federal Government’s commitment sees some AUS$1.1 … Read more

Corporate reporting – BEIS consultation on climate-related disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and LLPs

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation on mandatory climate-related disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Context of the proposed mandatory disclosure requirements The UK Government aims under its 2019 Green Finance Strategy for all listed companies and large asset owners to make disclosures … Read more

Climate change, decarbonisation, net zero – a glimpse into the 2021 Budget

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2021 Budget to the UK Parliament on 3 March 2021. The budget delivered includes a package of related policy documents, some of which relate to planned commitments to tackle climate change and achieve the Government’s net zero by 2050 ambition. Two of the more interesting aspects of this budget … Read more

Climate-related disclosures for issuers: further steps towards mandatory requirements?

In November 2020, the UK Joint Government Regulator TCFD Taskforce published its “roadmap towards mandatory climate-related disclosures”, which set out a vision for the next five years. As an initial step towards fulfilling that vision, in January 2021, the new Listing Rule 9.8.6(8) (LR) came into force. The LR requires premium-listed issuers, in their periodic … Read more