Archives: Sustainability

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Pioneering a Net Zero Emissions Future through Investments in Power

This blog is the sixteenth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”  The American Jobs Plan (AJP) envisions moving to 100 percent carbon pollution-free power by 2035.  To do this, the Plan contemplates sweeping updates to the power sector to increase use of zero-emissions electricity and modernize the physical infrastructure to make it cleaner, … Continue Reading

New EU Restrictions on Single-Use Plastic Products to Enter into Force

As of July 3, single-use plastic products marketed in the EU/EEA must comply with the requirements and restrictions of Directive 2019/904 on the Reduction of the Impact of Certain Plastic Products on the Environment (“Single-Use Plastic Directive” –  “SUPD”).  To help Member States implement the SUPD into their national laws and apply its requirements, on … Continue Reading

The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive Proposal: What Companies Need to Know

The European Commission has published a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (2021/0104) (“CSRD”), which forms just one part of a comprehensive package of sustainable finance measures (see our blog here).  The Commission has put forward these measures in response to demand for stronger and wider sustainability reporting standards, over and above what the … Continue Reading

The EU’s Green Capitalism Takes Shape: Taxonomy Screening Criteria and Corporate Sustainability Reporting

The European Commission has presented a package of key enabling legislation on sustainable finance (the “Sustainable Finance Package”).  This includes the much-awaited first technical screening criteria under the Taxonomy Regulation — outlined in the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act (“TCDA”) — and a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”), which significantly revises and expands … Continue Reading

Kids and a Sustainable Future

This is the eleventh in our series on the “ABCs of the AJP.” America’s kids are the beneficiaries of many of the provisions of President Biden’s Jobs Plan, and several of the proposals would benefit them and their caretakers specifically.  Children have become a focus point of discussions about climate change, because absent intervention they … Continue Reading

Jumpstarting A Cleaner, More Resilient Economy With Jobs

This is the tenth in our series on “The ABCs of the AJP.” Jobs, unsurprisingly, are at the heart of the Biden Administration’s ambitious, multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan.  After all, the plan also goes by the name The American Jobs Plan (“AJP”).  Each of the sweeping goals of the AJP—from addressing climate change, to developing … Continue Reading

Infrastructure Reimagined: From Roads and Country to People and Planet

This post is the ninth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” Virtually every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has pursued a national “infrastructure” project of some kind.  From the New Deal and the Federal-Aid Highway Acts, which created today’s interstate highway, to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government … Continue Reading

Hastening the Hydrogen Economy

This blog is the eighth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” The latest Energy Transition technology now attracting massive investment and policy attention is “green hydrogen” produced using renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water that can be used both for bulk energy storage and then used to fuel gas-fired power plants or … Continue Reading

Finding the Common Ground for Forests

This blog is the sixth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” One of the key underpinnings of the case for climate legislation is the idea that natural and working lands will suffer without swift and meaningful action. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposes to “protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – … Continue Reading

Ending Environmental Injustice with Infrastructure Investment

This blog is the fifth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) would mobilize $2.2 trillion in investment to address climate change and create jobs for Americans. According to the White House, “unlike past major investments, the plan prioritizes addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice,” in part by … Continue Reading

ESG in the Energy Sector

Like many companies in other sectors, oil and gas companies are increasingly confronted with the need to address Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) imperatives in their businesses.  Traditionally viewed as ‘license to operate’ issues—effectively ensuring that companies continued to have ‘social permission’ to operate—these considerations have assumed an ever-greater importance as companies face both an … Continue Reading

FERC Accepts Study Agreement to Assess New Jersey Offshore Wind Deliverability

On February 16, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order accepting an executed State Agreement Approach Study Agreement (Study Agreement) between PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU), pursuant to which PJM will solicit project proposals to expand or upgrade its transmission system to provide for … Continue Reading

DOE Rule Sharply Limits Evaluation of Environmental Impacts of LNG Exports

In a recently adopted final rule, the Department of Energy (DOE) revised its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation procedures to include LNG exports by marine vessel within a categorical exclusion from NEPA review.  DOE finds that the only source of potential environmental impacts within its authority to review are those associated with transporting natural … Continue Reading

The CMA’s market study into the UK electric vehicle charging sector

On 2 December 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced a market study (the “study”) into the UK’s bourgeoning electric vehicle charging sector. This blog post considers the scope of the study, and may be of interest to Electric Vehicle market participants across the supply chain.… Continue Reading

The UK’s 10-point Green Industrial Revolution Plan

With the UK due to host the COP 26 climate summit in a year’s time, the UK Government is keen to set out its credentials as a global ‘green‘ leader and demonstrate not only that it can make good on its election promise to level up (with much of the promised Green Industrial Revolution investment … Continue Reading

Covington Experts Discuss Decarbonization Strategies in the EU and US at a Leading Global Sustainable Technology Conference

In October 2020, Covington public policy experts Sebastian Vos and Gary Guzy were invited to the 2020 CleanEquity Monaco sustainable technology conference to discuss the policy outlook in the EU and US, and likely impacts on efforts to decarbonize carbon-intensive sectors of the economy. The event was presented globally on EarthX TV.  Covington’s London-based emerging … Continue Reading

The Role of Carbon Capture and Storage in California’s Net-Zero Future

Earlier today, the Energy Futures Initiative and Stanford University released a new joint report that provides policymakers in California with an action plan for realizing the significant decarbonization opportunities presented by use of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology within the state. The results of the study add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating … Continue Reading

FERC Takes Close Look at Carbon Pricing

Recently, the three sitting Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) convened thirty industry experts at a virtual Technical Conference on state adoption of carbon pricing and its implementation in organized, wholesale electricity markets managed by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or independent system operators (ISOs).  Public interest was high, with more than 2,000 computers … Continue Reading

UK: new “world-leading” deforestation and ecosystem supply chain law

The UK Government recently announced that it is developing legislation that would make it illegal for large businesses operating in the UK to use certain commodities that have not been produced in line with local laws, and require in-scope companies to conduct due diligence to ensure that their supply chains are free from illegal deforestation … Continue Reading

The Green Deal at the Border: Public Consultation on the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism Launched

Last week, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the possible adoption of a new EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”).  This consultation is yet another of the initiatives that the Commission is taking to roll out its ambitious European Green Deal (for a recent overview webinar see here).  Manufacturers in virtually all industrial … Continue Reading

FERC Carbon Pricing Conference Set

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a conference on September 30, 2020 regarding carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets.  According to the conference notice, the purpose is to discuss “considerations related to state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon dioxide emissions…in regions with FERC-jurisdictional organized wholesale electricity markets.”  This conference should be … Continue Reading

Sustainability and Competition: Covington Assists Unilever on Submission to European Competition Authorities on the Competition Implications of Sustainability Cooperation

With the assistance of Covington, Unilever submitted the attached paper to the European Commission and a number of National Competition Authorities. It suggests a possible framework for the application of EU competition law to sustainability collaborations between competitors.  The paper is available here.… Continue Reading

Will the SEC Offer Hope for Clear, Uniform Sustainability Disclosure Standards?

On May 21, in an open virtual meeting the SEC’s 23-member Investor Advisory Committee debated and endorsed the Investor as Owner Subcommittee’s long-awaited recommendations that the Commission begin in earnest an effort to update the reporting requirements of Issuers to include material, decision-useful, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.  That same day, BlackRock shareholders debated … Continue Reading
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