On November 15, 2021, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) moved to progress the British government’s aim of making the U.K. the world’s “first net zero-aligned financial centre” by publishing Primary Market Bulletin 36 (PMB 36). PMB 36 confirms regulatory progress towards extending climate- and environment-focused transparency requirements to most companies with a standard listing of equity shares. Here, we will examine the background to PMB 36, the changes it considers, and the FCA’s indications as to how these changes will be enforced.
Reflecting back on the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or “COP26,” it may well become known as the “Pledge and Commitment COP.” Governments, businesses, multilateral institutions and civil society focused their two weeks in Glasgow on how to “get things done” to limit the planet’s rising temperatures to 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels. The apparent solution: pledges and commitments. Now comes the hard work: adhering to these pledges and commitments, with clearly defined milestones, in a transparent and accountable manner to ensure environmental integrity.
As the delegates of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP26) return from two hard weeks in Glasgow, significant progress has been made on establishing international rules for market and non-market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The United Kingdom (U.K.) host of COP26 highlighted the importance of reducing emissions from shipping, aviation and road transport, placing these firmly on the agenda by designating last Wednesday as Transport Day. With this in mind, we have taken a more in depth look at the recent developments in Europe, as the European Commission (EC) proposes to revise the existing EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and more recently the U.K. government issued a proposal for the U.K. Emissions Trading Scheme (U.K. ETS) set out in the ‘Net-Zero Strategy’ (NZS). We consider these provisions in the context of respective Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently established the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), reinforcing the Biden-Harris administration’s strong commitment to mitigating legacy damage from climate change and building resiliency for the future. Established in response to President Biden’s Executive Order in January, the office officially opened on August 1.
As COP26 spilled over into Saturday, one of the key issues being debated throughout the course of the conference remained outstanding—agreement on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Negotiations on Article 6, being led by Singapore and Norway, had failed to reach a consensus by Friday’s scheduled end date and continued through the night.
The long anticipated 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) kicked off last week in Glasgow and we have been closely monitoring the events of the conference, particularly where Singapore and the wider Asia Pacific region are concerned. COP26 has been labeled as the “last chance saloon1” for averting disastrous climate change and delegations from countries around the globe are working tirelessly to reach agreement on key issues which, if resolved, have the ability to potentially assist in stemming the tide of global warming. Over the course of the first week of COP26, a number of significant announcements were made, which can be summarized as follows:
- Coal – The United Kingdom, together with the support of a 190-strong coalition of nations and organizations, launched a proposal to phase out coal power and end support for new coal-fired power plants set out in the “Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement” (the “Statement”). The Statement commits to:
- End all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally.
- Rapidly scale up and deploy clean power generation.
- Phase out coal power in the 2030s for major economies and by 2040 for the rest of the world.
- Ensure a just transition away from coal power in a way that benefits workers and communities.
Today during Transport Day at COP26, we highlight some of the key events taking place in Glasgow across the broad reaches of the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and implement more sustainable actions.
Akin Gump climate change group co-leader Ken Markowitz, currently in Glasgow for COP26, files this short audio essay on the Climate Change Conference, placing it in historical context, examining what sets this conference apart, setting out its themes and players, and identifying the challenges and breakthroughs. This is the first in what will be a series of audio essays from Ken during this historic conference.