On the eve of the first requirements under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) coming into force, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) released its final advice to the European Commission on Taxonomy reporting for companies in the scope of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). While there is some overlap between the companies covered by these two sets of requirements, certain large listed companies who are not obligated under the SFDR will be interested to read ESMA's advice which will inform the requirements applicable to them from 1 January 2022.
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While the EU continues to develop a complex framework of environment and social impact related reporting requirements with its landmark Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, the UK Government is seeking to forge its own path and is focusing, for now at least, more narrowly on climate reporting.
What is COP26?
COP26 is the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The summit will be attended by the heads of state of the countries that signed the UNFCCC, as well as a variety of climate experts and campaigners, in order to agree and accelerate action on the Paris Agreement. The UK, in partnership with Italy, is hosting the summit this year in Glasgow from 1 - 12 November 2021 after it was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK is centre stage in the lead up to COP26. As host, the UK will be tasked with trying to build consensus at the summit to ensure its success, but there has already been some criticism of the UK's approach to COP26 from certain stakeholders.
While the Paris Agreement certainly represents the most important part of the international effort to alleviate the impact of climate change, there is also increasing recognition that the business world needs to play a central role in meeting net zero, as industrial activities are the biggest contributor to rising temperatures on the planet. The World Bank estimates that $4 trillion of finance needs to be mobilised annually to invest in mitigation and resilience in the Global South, and most of this needs to be financed by the private sector.
To help you keep on top of legal developments relevant to alternative asset managers, we have created a checklist that pulls the key ones together. Our checklist highlights each development, providing a brief description and setting out the next steps.
The European Supervisory Authorities have issued a consultation paper on the content and presentation of certain Taxonomy-related disclosures under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
Today's consumers actively seek environmentally friendly choices when selecting goods or services. In 2019, UK consumers spent £41 billion on ethical or sustainable goods and services, quadrupling from 20 years ago.
In the years leading up to Brexit, both the UK and the EU had been busy developing sustainability policy and legislation. Now the UK has left the EU, it remains committed to being at the forefront of the sustainable finance agenda.
BNP Paribas defines a restrictive policy to fight deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado regions
BNP Paribas, the largest bank in France, has announced today that it will no longer finance firms who produce, or buy, beef or soybeans from land in the Amazon that was cleared or converted after 2008 (and will encourage its clients not to produce or buy beef or soybeans from cleared or converted land in the Cerrado after 1 January 2020).
The sustainability agenda is inevitably resulting in a wave of new regulation for alternative asset managers as well as the wider business community, a trend which looks set to continue in the coming years.
A regular briefing for the alternative asset management industry.
The draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) to supplement the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) have been issued by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) and are available here .
Our annual briefing highlighting the key 2020 legal developments which impact the funds' industry and previews what can be expected in 2021.
In late January 2021, the Court of Appeal of the Hague considered in some detail whether to hold Royal Dutch Shell (UK plc) responsible for the actions of its indirect subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, in a long-running litigation relating to a significant oil leak in Nigeria.
The evidence outlined by the UK Government includes allegations of forced sterilisation, extra-judicial detention and forced labour. The proposals are intended to "send a clear message that these violations of human rights are unacceptable, and to safeguard UK businesses and public bodies from any involvement or linkage with them".