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Beyond the headlines: Recent trends in global climate change litigation

Two climate change related cases made global headlines in recent weeks: a Dutch case, brought by a group of activists, against Royal Dutch Shell that imposed carbon emission limits on the oil producing multinational and an Australian case that found the Minister for the Environment had a duty to protect young people from the effects of climate change. In this article, we look at these decisions in their wider legal context, and consider how the law may continue to develop in this area, including in the UK.

Anti-bribery update: SFO enters into £103m DPA with Amec Foster Wheeler

On 1 July, which marks the 10th anniversary of the UK's Bribery Act coming into force, the Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") secured court approval for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement ("DPA") with Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited ("AFWEL"). This latest DPA concludes yet another significant multi-year corruption probe and highlights the importance of continued ABC compliance measures for multinational organisations.

COP26: New US and EU greenhouse gas reduction commitments

On 22 and 23 April 2021, US President Joe Biden hosted a global two-day international climate summit to formally mark the US' return to the Paris Agreement (the "Climate Summit"). The Climate Summit's focus was on starting conversations around how to address the climate crisis in practice, including emission reductions, carbon trading, finance, innovation and job creation, in advance of more formal talks at COP26 later this year. It was the first time in four years that the US government has hosted a major international climate discussion, sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that the US is serious again about tackling climate change.

COP26: The UK leads by example?

On 20 April the UK Government announced that it would significantly increase its climate ambition, ahead of the COP26 international climate summit in Glasgow in November. The UK's Climate Change Act commits it to net zero by 2050, and it recently adopted a new Nationally Determined Contribution ("NDC") under the Paris Agreement of 68% reduction against 1990 levels by 2030.

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