Climate change, environment, natural resources, and other issues are now more important than ever on the corporate, legal, and political agendas. It is no longer possible to continue doing business as usual. These fundamental issues must be considered in any sustainability or ESG analysis.
- Climate change
- Climate change and litigation risk
- Contacts and additional reading
1. Climate change
Climate change will be the challenge for our generation. Our economy, which has been based on fossil fuels and carbon since its inception, will need to be transformed. This will require a lot of effort from industry and society. Even though the effects of climate changes are often less visible than other environmental consequences, future generations will feel them most acutely if there are not drastic societal changes to slow down global temperature rises. Businesses, investors, and governments need to work together to achieve real results. As governments set ambitious climate goals, we expect a shift from the current transparency reporting and reporting regimes to more restrictive statutory obligations and obligations.
Every business faces a challenge in understanding the many environmental laws and regulations. These environmental issues are not as important as those related to climate change and natural resource concerns. However, failing adequately to address them can cause significant liability and reputational damage. It is important to stay on top of regulatory and legal developments.
3. Climate change and litigation risk
Globally, climate change litigations have increased in number over the past 20 years. The numbers have also seen a significant increase in the last few decades. “Climate change litigation” can cover a wide range cases, including those involving planning and permitting, breach by states and governments of carbon emission commitments, liability of private companies, and breaches by states. It remains to be seen how climate change litigation will be affected by the COVID-19 crises. Notably, in the UK, the UK Government received a protocol letter disputing the legality of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The letter alleged unlawful allocation of Bank of England and Government funds.
All global economies have an inextricable reliance upon natural resources. The global population is growing, driving more intensive industrial and agricultural activities, often in countries without many regulatory checks and balances. Sustainable development requires us to manage the diminishing supply of natural resources in order to preserve them for future generations as well as developing countries. We also need to reduce and reverse the environmental damage that is being caused by their depletion.