Governments globally are grappling with difficult decisions about green energy policies: maintain green initiatives or remove the strains on economic growth? It is interesting to look across the globe for examples of how different Governments are reacting.

In recent months, the UK has opted to “tweak” its green levies to save households an anticipated average of £50 per year. This has been a highly political issue, with domestic gas and electricity costs becoming a major factor in the increased cost of living in the UK. In particular, the government said it would adjust the Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO) to give large energy suppliers an extra two years to hit targets and relax some of the scheme’s targets by 33%, subject to the outcome of a consultation by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

So, what is the proposed change? First, it is helpful to recall ECO’s original targets and objectives. Effective 1 January 2013, the ECO obliges gas and electricity suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of domestic customers’ buildings by meeting three targets:

Continue Reading The UK Government pledges to cut green taxes, but at what cost to gas and electricity suppliers?

On Monday this week a consortium of thirteen investment banks announced their support for a set of “Green Bond Principles” that are intended as voluntary guidelines to encourage greater and more consistent transparency, disclosure and integrity in the development of the burgeoning Green Bond market.

Green Bonds are a category of debt instruments issued by multilateral development agencies and other commercial project development financiers the proceeds of which are applied exclusively to projects that promote climate or other environmental sustainability.  Projects that have tapped Green Bond funding include renewable energy projects, energy efficiency retrofits, clean water resources and sustainable waste management projects.  These instruments provide a vehicle for investors in fixed income securities to support clean energy and other sustainability initiatives.  According to a Reuters report, over $10 billion in Green Bonds were issued in 2013.
Continue Reading Major Banks Sign On to Disclosure Guidelines for Green Bonds

Here at Inside Energy & Environment we are honored to share that Law360 has named Covington’s energy practice as a 2013 “Energy Practice Group of the Year.”  In giving this award, Law360 recognized the breadth of Covington’s practice capabilities (including litigation, transactions, regulatory and government policy) in both the traditional energy and clean