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Climate Change Hero

Climate Change Blog

50th Annual World Economic Forum Highlights Differences in Opinion on Key Global Risks

The 50th annual World Economic Forum, hosted by the Swiss non-profit International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, was held between January 21 and 24, 2020 in Davos, Switzerland (the “Forum”). The Forum was widely attended by political, business, academic, and cultural leaders and representatives from some of the world’s largest banking and investment companies. 

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  • 22
  • January
  • 2020

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Juliana v. United States – Another Climate Case Dismissed as Nonjusticiable

On January 17, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the dismissal of the high-profile constitutional climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States, which was originally filed in 2015 in Oregon by a group of children and young adults. While asserting that the plaintiffs had gathered compelling evidence about the impacts of climate change, the Ninth Circuit ultimately concluded that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit in question.

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What does ExxonMobil’s Win Mean for the Future of Climate Disclosures?

In a case that has been widely watched, on Tuesday December 10, ExxonMobil got good news in the climate change disclosure lawsuit brought against it by the New York Attorney General. As set forth in more detail in our prior post, the New York Attorney General alleged that ExxonMobil had made misleading statements regarding its use of carbon pricing in evaluating investment decisions and the value of its oil and gas reserves and sought to hold ExxonMobil accountable for those statements.

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European Investment Bank Adopts New Energy Lending Policy

On 14 November 2019, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), the world’s largest multilateral bank, adopted a new Energy Lending Policy (the “Policy”), which aims to end EIB investment in the majority of fossil fuel programs by the end of 2021. The Policy signals a change in the flow of capital from multilateral banks into greener energy investments and seeks to incentivize technological innovation.

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Japan Hosts First-Ever Summit on Implementation of TCFD Recommendations

On October 8, 2019, the government of Japan hosted the first-ever corporate summit (the “Summit”) in Tokyo to discuss and guide implementation of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) recommendations. The Summit attracted over 300 attendees, including senior executives from companies such as Shell and Nippon Steel. One of the Summit’s co-hosts, the Japanese business community’s recently established TCFD Consortium, took the opportunity to reveal its Green Investment Guidance to help investors engage with companies on the topic of climate.

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Exxon Climate Securities Litigation

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a complaint against ExxonMobil (“Exxon”) in October 2018 in New York state court. The case alleges a violation of New York’s Martin Act, which provides the attorney general broad powers to investigate financial fraud. The New York State Attorney General (the “State”) claims that Exxon misled investors on its evaluation of the impact of future climate regulations on its business through its use of internal metrics compared to published “proxy costs” or estimates of the cost of carbon emissions.

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Launch of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking

On September 22, 2019, 130 banks signed onto the United Nations’ newly launched Principles for Responsible Banking (the “Principles”). These banks — whose founding members include BBVA, Barclays, Standard Bank, and Santander, among others — collectively hold US$47 trillion in assets, amounting to approximately one-third of the global banking sector.

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California’s Voluntary Framework and the Brewing Storm of GHG Emissions Litigation

California has played a unique role in the development of greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles. With the EPA now on the verge of implementing rules that would loosen federal standards imposed under the previous administration, California remains at the center of attention. 

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European Union Supplemental Guidance on Climate-Related Disclosures

In June 2019, the European Commission published its Guidelines on Non-Financial Reporting: Supplement on Reporting Climate-Related Information (the Supplement). While not binding, the Supplement was designed to assist companies in complying with the European Union’s (EU) Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The Supplement also considered a variety of existing standards and frameworks; however, it particularly underscores its integration of the recommendations from the Task-Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

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  • 18
  • July
  • 2019

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Rhodium Group Report — Capturing Leadership: Policies for the U.S. to Advance Direct Air Capture Technology

Direct Air Capture (DAC) is a chemical process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed directly from the air. Researchers highlight DAC research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) as a means to mitigate climate change and limit the increase in global temperature. In its 2018 report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that global emissions of CO2 had to reach net-zero between 2045 and 2055 to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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Increasing Climate Disclosure Mandate in the United Kingdom

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom (“UK”) indicated that it is considering rules to require disclosure of certain climate-related risks. On July 2, the government released its Green Finance Strategy, which discusses the UK’s strategy for accomplishing its goals of net zero emissions by 2050. Among the actions discussed is a consideration of mandatory climate reporting.

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Glencore the Latest to Commit to Climate Action 100+ Initiative

Glencore PLC, the British-Swiss multinational trading and mining company, is one of the latest to commit to take steps in line with investor initiative Climate Action 100+. In what some are calling a potential tipping point in shareholder engagement on climate issues, Glencore committed to cap coal production at current levels, prioritize investment in commodities supporting low-emissions technology, and continue to disclose climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

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Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Partner

Eric Groten

Eric Groten Partner

George C. Hopkins

George C. Hopkins Partner

Michael B. Wigmore

Michael B. Wigmore Partner

Mattew T. Dobbins

Matthew Dobbins Partner

Tyler E. Robinson

Tyler E. Robinson Counsel

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck Counsel