Climate change is no longer solely the concern of scientists. Governments, businesses, and individuals are making a concerted effort to change their patterns to protect the environment. Especially as economies around the world rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, many private and public entities are following the example set by the United Nations to take climate-positive actions by creating green jobs, encouraging green investments, and making environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and corporate sustainability central parts of their operations.
Navigating evolving incentives and global requirements require a watchful eye to keep up with all the developments. The ESG, corporate sustainability, and climate change teams at Morgan Lewis do just that on a global scale.
A report presented on September 23, 2021, into the February 2021 power outages in Texas and the US Midwest caused by extreme cold weather identified the causes of the outages and outlined a series of recommendations. Commenting on the report, jointly authored by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), FERC Chairman Richard Glick stated FERC “must take these recommendations seriously, and act decisively, to ensure the bulk power system doesn’t fail the next time extreme weather hits.”
Financial losses caused by recent storms, fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a significant and urgent problem. Insurance industry observers predict that such extreme weather may result in losses of over $100 billion this year alone. From the fires blazing through the Pacific Northwest and California to the destruction caused by Tropical Storm Henri and Hurricane Ida across the South and Northeast, every sector of the economy has been impacted by severe weather events. Most recently, Tropical Storm Nicholas left over half a million customers without power across Texas alone. After responding to the initial, often substantial, concern for securing public safety, companies must evaluate what to do next to recover.
August 2021 proved to be a busy month for stakeholders in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Between US President Joseph Biden's August 5 executive order to encourage the development of EVs and $15 billion in funds earmarked for EV support in the Senate-approved infrastructure legislation, the growth outlook for EVs and other zero-emission transportation is strong.
Empowered, produced by our energy lawyers, covers important trends and developments in the power sector (conventional, nuclear, renewable, including wind and solar, storage, and transmission) and the oil and gas sector (upstream, midstream, and liquefied natural gas, refining, and petrochemicals).
Transactions involving a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) accounted for more than 50% of new publicly listed US companies in 2020. Described as the new way to go public, SPAC transactions have proven to be an effective way to raise capital. SPACs are used in a variety of sectors and the clean energy space is no exception, as the number of renewable energy SPACs keep growing. This article will briefly explain why “green SPACs” became so popular and why, despite the challenges in the SPAC market, the green SPAC frenzy is likely to continue.
The promotion of green finance and investment in sustainable projects continues to be a key policy of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE government (with its related entities) has traditionally been the initiator of the financing of sustainable investments and initiatives; however, this is increasingly changing as the private sector becomes more involved. Given the current policies of the UAE government and the other governments within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is extremely likely that green finance will continue to grow throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
In the eight months since Richard Glick took the helm of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a number of changes to federal regulation of the development of natural gas infrastructure are in the works and several recent orders have showcased diverging positions at the Commission.
Partner Elizabeth Goldberg spoke with Bloomberg Law about a proposed regulation from the US Department of Labor (DOL), which states that fiduciaries’ duty of prudence “may often require” consideration of the economic effects of climate change.
Partner Stephanie Feingold discussed the US Environmental Protection Agency's pending requirement that companies report their use of so-called “forever chemicals” in Law360.
Partners Conor Larkin, Celia Soehner, and Carl Valenstein authored a Lexis Practical Guidance article that provides some best practices for public companies when evaluating environmental, social, and governance disclosures. The article details Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure strategies and protocol.
Partner Duke McCall discussed a congressional plan to revive a decades-dormant tax on chemicals and possibly on crude oil with Law360.
The publication InsideEPA recently cited a LawFlash written by Morgan Lewis partners Duke McCall and Denise Fellers, of counsel Laurie Matthews, and associate Noorvik Minasian in an article regarding the US Environmental and Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) revamped model consent decree for Superfund enforcement agreements.
Partners Elizabeth Goldberg and Celia Soehner authored an article for Reuters about whether retirement plans can consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when selecting investment options.
Partner Neeraj Arora spoke with Law360 about a Congressional proposal that would provide for significant clean energy tax credits.
Partner Elizabeth Goldberg authored an article for Lexis’s Practical Guidance on how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are impacting employee benefit plans.