The Climate Report | Fourth Quarter 2021
Climate Change Regulatory Issues & Updates
New NEPA Proposed Rule from CEQ Leaves Uncertain How U.S. Federal Agencies Must Assess Climate Change Impacts
On October 7, 2021, the Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ") published a proposed rule announcing intentions to modify certain aspects of the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") regulations published in July 2020 under the Trump administration.
Environmental Labels, Greenwashing, and Ecocide Tackled by France's New Climate Law
France's new Climate and Resilience Law is intended to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral and more resilient society. It imposes additional requirements on goods and services manufacturers and distributors, as well as more stringent limitations on the use of language related to climate change and stricter punishment for offenses against the environment.
California Air Resources Board Preparing Scoping Plan for Carbon Neutral Future
The California Air Resources Board is conducting public workshops during the fall of 2021 as part of its planning for the next Climate Change Scoping Plan, which will lay out strategies for achieving California's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and related climate change goals.
Climate Change Litigation Issues & Updates
Climate-Related Risk Heating Up Down Under
Over the last 12 months, there has been a proliferation in shareholder action on climate-related risks in Australia, including a wave of litigation and shareholder resolutions targeted at federal and state governments and publicly listed companies.
Oil Majors and Industrials Under Close Scrutiny in the Netherlands for CO2-Neutral Advertising Claims
On September 15, 2021, the Dutch Advertising Code Committee, regulating compliance with the Dutch Environmental Advertising Code applicable to all environmental claims in advertising, issued two decisions regarding the "Drive CO2 neutral" Shell campaign, following complaints made by consumers and students.
Federal Court Dismisses States' Challenge to President Biden's Executive Order 13990 on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases
On August 31, 2021, a federal district court dismissed a suit brought by 13 states, challenging an executive order by President Biden that establishes an Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and directs the Working Group to quantify in monetary values the social costs of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions.
Climate Change Transactional Issues & Updates
Investor Focus on Climate Change Continues to Rise
Climate change has long been an area of focus for investors. Recently, however, companies have come under greater scrutiny and have begun to face increased pressure from investors, regulators, activists, and the public to make commitments to programs, policies, practices, and disclosures regarding climate change. Today, it is widely accepted among investors that such issues fall squarely within the purview of boards' responsibilities.
Sustainability in Aviation: Significant Efforts Underway to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The aviation industry, including air carriers and aircraft manufacturers, has taken significant steps toward increasing the environmental sustainability of the industry. This article highlights three specific ways by which the aviation industry, as a whole, is moving to achieve carbon neutrality and increase its sustainability.
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