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Parent company liability hurdles and "class actions": what comes next?

Since the Supreme Court's rulings in Vedanta Resources Plc v Lungowe [2019] UKSC 20 ("Vedanta") and HRH Emere Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell [2021] UKSC 3 ("Okpabi"), much has been written about the potential impact these decisions may have on UK-domiciled businesses with foreign operations and, in particular, how they will assist claimants who wish to initiate large-scale group litigation. 

UK High Court finds Government Net Zero Strategy "unlawful"

The High Court has ruled that the UK Government's Net Zero Strategy breaches its obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008. The ruling took place on 18 July 2022, following a case brought by Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth (inter alia), who alleged that the Government failed to produce detailed climate policies to show how the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets will be met, in line with its obligations under the Climate Change Act.  

The ever-expanding world of corporate sustainability reporting

The EU continues to beat a path to a more sustainable future. Nothing too new there, perhaps, but it is increasingly determined to bring the rest of the world along with it. It first proposed a directive on corporate sustainability reporting ("CSRD") in February 2021, which when proposed caused a stir for the significant expansion of non-financial information obligations on non-listed corporates. 

B2C marketing: CMA calls for businesses to disclose how "green" their products really are

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended legislating to impose a positive obligation on consumer-facing businesses to disclose information about the environmental impact of their products. It has also recommended changes designed to make it easier to enforce consumer law against companies making misleading environmental claims, to allow orders to be made requiring businesses to make redress payments for environmental harm and to increase supply chain transparency.

Glencore guilty pleas to offer welcome relief for SFO

Glencore has indicated that it will plead guilty to seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The Serious Fraud Office opened its investigation into Glencore's activities in 2019 and alleges that the commodities giant approved the payment of over $25m in bribes for preferential access to oil.

ESG Newsletter - Spring 2022

ESG and sustainability issues continue to be a priority for policy makers and regulators globally. The impact of the Ukraine conflict on energy policy and the recent publication of the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) "state of the union" report on the slender window we have to take action in order to meet our climate targets both highlight the scale of the global challenge we face on climate issues.

Government fights waste plastics with new tax for non-recycled packaging

In pursuit of its commitment to prevent all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042, the UK Government has recently begun to impose a tax on the manufacture and import of significant volumes of plastic packaging which does not contain a minimum amount of recycled content. The aim of the tax is to increase demand for recycled plastics, creating an incentive to collect and recycle plastic waste and divert it away from landfill and incineration.

The Environment Act 2021 and the real estate sector

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 was a landmark piece of legislation for the real estate sector, establishing legal responsibility for contamination and pollution control for land, air and water, and also regulating waste disposal and statutory nuisances. Our understanding of the threat posed by contamination and climate change has increased significantly in the thirty years that followed, and the long-awaited new Environment Act was finally put onto the statute books in 2021. When it is fully operational, what might the new legislation mean for the UK's real estate industry?

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