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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.

Taxonomy reporting under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive

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.

COP26: What is it and why is it important?

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.

COP26: Impact on business

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.

Sustainable Products Initiative: EU and UK developments

The European Commission has recently published (on 17 March 2021) a consultation on its sustainable products initiative ("SPI"). The SPI is one of a number of initiatives designed to help the EU reach the Green Deal objectives (find further information on the Green Deal in our earlier TS Briefing Note) of lower resource consumption and reduced environmental impact, and responds directly to the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Feedback on the SPI closes on 9 June 2021.

Pensions climate change regulations: bitesize video guide

New climate change regulations are coming to pensions. This consultation (running until 10 March 2021) sets out details of the Government's ambitious proposals for new pension scheme governance requirements around climate risks and opportunities. In our view, the regulations are far-reaching and will require a potentially significant commitment from many pension schemes, in some cases starting very soon (1 October 2021).

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).

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