Climate Report

The Climate Report | Summer 2019

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Climate Change Regulatory Issues & Updates

EPA Issues Affordable Clean Energy Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued the Affordable Clean Energy rule on July 8 to repeal the Clean Power Plan because EPA determined that the Clean Air Act does not authorize generation shifting to be required as part of the Best System of Emission Reduction for existing electric generating units under Section 111(d).

UK Government Commits to Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target
New legislation that came into force on June 27, 2019, has increased the United Kingdom's 2050 net GHG emissions reduction target from 80% to 100% compared to 1990 levels. In doing so, the United Kingdom has made a far-reaching, unilateral commitment and has become the first G7 economy to legislate on net zero emissions.

Climate Change Litigation Issues & Updates

Resolving Climate Change Disputes Through Arbitration

International arbitration and alternative dispute resolution are increasingly becoming the choice for businesses in effectively resolving climate change-related disputes. The International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration's Task Force on Arbitration of Environmental and Climate Change Related Disputes has issued a draft report that is in the final stages of approval and includes procedures to allow for unique solutions to address climate change-related issues.

Consideration of Climate Change Impacts in Pipeline Reviews Divides FERC Along Political Lines
FERC commissioners have been divided along party lines as to whether (and how) a proposed project's climate change impact should be considered in pipeline certificate proceedings. The split among FERC commissioners is now before the courts, as a number of FERC's pipeline certificate decisions undergo judicial review.

Environmental Groups Challenge Colorado Mine Expansion
On July 2, 2019, conservation groups filed a petition for review in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado seeking to challenge approval of a mining plan modification that authorizes the expansion of the coal-producing West Elk Mine into 1,720 acres of government-owned land in the Sunset Roadless Area.

Climate Change Transactional Issues & Updates

Will Carbon Capture Finally Make a Breakthrough in the United States?

Carbon capture and sequestration ("CCS") projects have struggled in the U.S. due to high costs and cost overruns. But the FUTURE Act of 2018—substantially expanding the 45Q tax credit for CCS projects—and additional legislation currently being considered by Congress may open up new opportunities for the development and financing of CCS projects in the U.S.

Impact of Climate Change on Banking Products in Europe
Banks and investors are using new tools and instruments with an emphasis on transparency and accountability in a sign that the sustainable finance industry is maturing.

Australian Federal Election Update: Climate Policy Status Quo Maintained … for Now
Climate policy and the anti-coal movement featured heavily in the recent federal election in Australia as the Liberal National Coalition government was reelected by a narrow majority, confounding both public expectations and the polls.

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