The Climate Report - First Quarter 2021

Climate Change Regulatory Issues & Updates

Biden Administration Takes Early Action on Climate Change
In its first week in office, the Biden Administration took initial steps to meet its ambitious goals to address climate change. These steps are contained in a January 20, 2021, executive order, a January 20 notice regarding the Paris Agreement, and a January 27 executive order.


Final Section 45Q Regulations Make Carbon Capture Deals Easier
Section 45Q provides a tax credit to U.S. taxpayers who capture qualified carbon oxide and either properly store or use the captured carbon oxide in certain ways.


EPA Implements Clean Air Act Authority to Finalize Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Aircraft
The standards align with the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization's carbon dioxide emission standards adopted in 2017.


Climate Change Litigation Issues & Updates

D.C. Circuit Overturns Trump Administration Power Plant Rule

In June 2019, the EPA adopted several rules that repealed the 2015 Clean Power Plan and implemented the Affordable Clean Energy ("ACE") Rule. On January 19, 2021, in a per curiam opinion, the D.C. Circuit vacated the ACE Rule.


French Courts Ruled on Major Climate Lawsuits Against the State
Two lawsuits filed against the French State recently prompted French administrative courts to clarify the extent of France's obligations to adopt measures to comply with its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.


UK Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Heathrow Airport Ltd, Despite UK’s 2015 Paris Agreement Commitments
The decision turned on the Supreme Court’s different interpretation of what constitutes "government policy" in the context of the Planning Act of 2008.


Climate Change Transactional Issues & Updates

Climate Change Provisions of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

The parties have agreed on tariff and quota-free trade in all goods, comprehensive market access, and rules on services and investment. The deal also reaffirms the EU/UK joint ambition to achieve economy-wide climate neutrality by 2050.


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