The Climate Report | Second Quarter 2023
LAWYER SPOTLIGHT: Chuck Wehland
Chuck Wehland, a partner in Jones Day's Chicago Office, advances the interests of clients in the energy industry by counseling and defending them in climate, sustainability, and environmental matters. His work on transactions includes environmental diligence and negotiation of the environmental terms of transaction agreements in dozens of deals for facilities, including refineries, electric generating units, midstream gas processing units, exploration and production operations, manufacturing plants, and transportation operations.
Chuck was a key member of the team that presented the oral argument to the Supreme Court on behalf of industry petitioners in the West Virginia v. EPA case that established the major questions doctrine. He advises companies on legal strategies related to greenhouse gas emissions and associated requirements and on the development of sustainability programs that implement environmental, social, and governance goals appropriate to the business. These legal strategies are designed to account for a wide variety of state, federal, and international standards such as carbon trading markets, low carbon and renewable fuel standards, supply chain diligence requirements, and other environmental, social, and governance goals appropriate to the business.
REGULATORY ISSUES & UPDATES
"Green Day" in the UK
As part of its "Powering Up Britain" strategy, the UK government has published a series of documents setting out its vision for the UK's transition to net zero and the strengthening of UK energy security.
U.S. EPA Proposes Strictest Vehicle Emissions Standards to Date
The EPA has proposed new greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles, which are expected to have a significant impact on vehicle manufacturers and consumers.
EU Green Claims Directive Proposal
The European Commission has published a proposal for a new EU directive on the substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims, setting out specific rules for consumer protection.
LITIGATION ISSUES & UPDATES
United Nations General Assembly Adopts Landmark Resolution Requesting Advisory Opinion on Climate Change From the International Court of Justice
The resolution marks the first successful request for the ICJ's opinion on States' obligations regarding climate change under international law, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
U.S. Climate Change Litigation Update: The Supreme Court Greenlights State Court Adjudication of Climate Claims
Recent certiorari denials by the Supreme Court have paved the way for climate claims to proceed in state courts—and possibly before state juries—around the country.
Fifth Circuit Dismisses States' Challenge to President Biden's Executive Order 13990 on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 10 state attorneys general challenging Executive Order 13990, which reestablished the "Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases" to quantify the social costs of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions.
Congressional Republicans and State Attorneys General Challenge Biden Administration's ESG 401(k) Rule
Republicans at the state and federal levels are challenging a Biden administration rule intended to walk back Trump-era regulations restricting the ability of retirement fund managers to consider climate change and other ESG factors in making investment decisions.
TRANSACTIONAL ISSUES & UPDATES
Is Geothermal Energy Making a Comeback?
Interest in the energy source is gaining traction, as the Biden administration looks to decarbonize the electric grid, technological innovation lowers geothermal drilling costs, and federal funding helps make expensive geothermal projects more economically viable.
Investor Group Releases Transition Planning Framework for Net-Zero Emissions
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has released guidelines for corporate transition plans designed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission targets by 2050.
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