Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors continue to play an increasingly significant role across the capital markets and have an impact on a range of financial instruments and products. We have previously written about green and sustainability-linked instruments and how various stakeholders are shaping the evolution of these products. We also have been tracking efforts by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) to develop standards and best practices for financial instruments that incorporate, or take into consideration, ESG-related factors. In the case of the former, for investors who focus on “green” instruments, it can be difficult to determine what activities can be considered as genuinely green if there is no standardised definition or benchmark, and this has caused some uncertainty within the market. Relatedly, ISDA’s work has focused on developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for use in connection with ESG-linked financial trades.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) looks set to become one of the next major talking points in energy, as countries around the globe struggle to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and fulfil commitments to reduce production of greenhouse gasses. In this article we explore the CCUS sector and consider its potential contribution towards sustainability efforts.
The launch of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 (Green Plan) in February this year is likely to mark a turning point for the island state’s energy sector. As Singapore looks to create a more sustainable society, it will become increasingly focused on low-carbon energy, including hydrogen. In this article we consider some of the key aspects of the Green Plan, from an energy perspective, and take a look at some of the initiatives in the hydrogen sector which are currently being undertaken in Singapore.
In this article we focus on developments in the hydrogen sector across the Asia Pacific region and, in addition consider how another region, specifically the Middle East, is likely to be critical in the development of a sustainable hydrogen economy.
The Biden-Harris administration has brought an expected, but unprecedented, focus on climate change and the transition to a lower-emission future. The administration’s first seven months included a historic Climate Leaders Summit and Group of 7 Nations (G7) meeting. In this article, we assess the short- and medium-term future of fossil fuels in the United States in the wake of the Summit and G7 meetings and discuss the federal energy innovation landscape we can expect to see over the next several years.
A major focus of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is rehabilitation of water infrastructure, including ports, recreation and irrigation, but with a particular focus on drinking water. As with other parts of the IIJA, the clean water provisions emphasize sustainability and resiliency of infrastructure across the nation. Many of the provisions simply reauthorize successful prior water programs, surveys and pilot project investments, while others focus on civil cybersecurity and other emergent issues. We highlight major areas of new and renewed investment and other relevant provisions contained in the package on clean water and water management.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved new listing rules proposed by Nasdaq regarding board diversity and related disclosure obligations. Such new listing rules, which we previously described, will require companies listed on Nasdaq trading platforms to satisfy, subject to certain exceptions, newly established targets for gender and ethnic diversity in their boardrooms, or to explain in their public disclosures why they are unable to meet such targets.
In a recent speech before the Principles for Responsible Investment’s “Climate and Global Financial Markets” Webinar, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler advocated for mandatory climate risk disclosure rules. In the speech, Gensler offered his views on why mandatory climate risk disclosure rules are needed and addressed some of the specific attributes he has asked the SEC staff to consider in drafting the forthcoming rule proposal.