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legal analysis and commentary

Un­der­stand COP26 – fre­quently asked ques­tions
Why CMS for ESG leg­al ad­vice?
Cli­mate ac­tion: us­ing the law to drive change


Re­ima­gin­ing Di­git­al: An In­ter­view on Build­ing a Sus­tain­able Di­git­al In­fra­struc­ture
"And this in­creased aware­ness of the im­port­ance of the in­fra­struc­ture be­ing used is com­ple­men­ted by the pan­dem­ic draw­ing people’s at­ten­tion to cli­mate change as well, with Petra­nyi not­ing: “We all...
ESG Reg­u­la­tion – 2021 and bey­ond – How in­vest­ment banks can ad­vise their...
2021 marked the end of the pre­vi­ous, primar­ily vol­un­tary, re­gime for ESG mat­ters and the start of reg­u­la­tion for is­suers, spon­sors and nomads. This note de­tails key reg­u­la­tions com­ing in­to force this...
Car­bon mar­kets and COP26
After six years of ne­go­ti­ation, COP26 re­solved one of the out­stand­ing is­sues of the Par­is Rule­book when it reached a con­sensus on a glob­al car­bon mar­ket mech­an­ism.Art­icle 6 of the Par­is Agree­ment set...
Back­ing bet­ter build­ings
Ret­ro­fit­ting was an im­port­ant theme at COP26, with many speak­ers high­light­ing the be­ne­fits of a ‘pre­serve and im­prove’ strategy, rather than de­moli­tion to en­able de­vel­op­ment.As about 10% of the UK’s...
The Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact and the road to COP27
COP26 ended with the agree­ment of the Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact by all the 197 na­tions at the con­fer­ence. Ac­cord­ing to the UK Pres­id­ency’s press re­lease, the pact will “keep 1.5C alive and fi­nal­ise the out­stand­ing ele­ments of the Par­is Agree­ment.”COP pres­id­ent Alok Sharma de­scribed the pact as a “fra­gile win.” He em­phas­ised that its long-term suc­cess will re­quire coun­tries to “meet and de­liv­er on the com­mit­ments” they have agreed.As has been widely re­por­ted, the pact has left many na­tions un­happy, not least be­cause of a last-minute change of the draft­ing on coal and fossil fuel sub­sidies. The fact that they were pre­pared to en­dorse it re­flects the gen­er­al sense of the con­fer­ence that an agree­ment – even if clearly im­per­fect – was vi­tal.
The im­pact of COP26 on the en­ergy sec­tor
What does the Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact mean for busi­nesses? What about the many oth­er ini­ti­at­ives an­nounced at COP26? And what’s next, as gov­ern­ments con­tem­plate a cru­cial dec­ade for cli­mate change?  
Fin­an­cing COP 26 out­comes
It was a wa­ter­shed mo­ment, ac­cord­ing to Mark Car­ney. The UN Spe­cial En­voy for Cli­mate Ac­tion and Fin­ance was in­tro­du­cing the Glas­gow Fin­an­cial Al­li­ance for Net Zero (Gfanz): over 450 banks, as­set man­agers...
A role for coal?
The Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact is the first COP de­cision to men­tion coal. This has been widely viewed as a real achieve­ment. Even cam­paign­ers who slam the word­ing of the pact tend to see the in­clu­sion of coal...
Green­house gas re­movals: new tech­no­lo­gies and new mar­kets
“Keep 1.5 de­grees alive” was a com­mon slo­gan at COP26. The Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact which con­cluded the con­fer­ence re­af­firmed the goal, set in the Par­is Agree­ment, to “pur­sue ef­forts to lim­it the tem­per­at­ure...
What will de­car­bon­isa­tion look like?
It is be­com­ing more ap­par­ent that there in the drive to re­duce car­bon emis­sion there is a need to re­main com­pet­it­ive and eco­nom­ic­ally vi­able.  The im­per­at­ive re­la­tion­ship between com­pan­ies driv­ing to zero car­bon and Gov­ern­ments can­not be un­der­stated.Whilst there are many op­tions for re­du­cing emis­sions in the in­dus­tri­al sec­tor such as im­proved en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, de­vel­op­ing and de­ploy­ing new man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques, switch­ing to lower-emit­ting fuels, com­bined heat and power, car­bon cap­ture and stor­age, and more ef­fi­cient use of re­sources, it re­mains one of the most com­plex of sec­tors to man­age.In this short video, Marc Rath­bone and Dalia Majum­der-Rus­sell dis­cuss tech­nic­al solu­tions to achiev­ing Net Zero, and the im­port­ance of the re­la­tion­ship between com­pan­ies and gov­ern­ments.
ESG: Ten steps to suc­cess for con­struc­tion com­pan­ies
Con­struc­tion is one of the sec­tors most ex­posed to ESG con­sid­er­a­tions. De­car­bon­isa­tion is a par­tic­u­lar con­cern, as com­monly used con­struc­tion ma­ter­i­als ac­count for a sig­ni­fic­ant per­cent­age of car­bon emis­sions.In 2020, the United Na­tions En­vir­on­ment Pro­gramme cal­cu­lated that the build­ing sec­tor was re­spons­ible for 38% of glob­al en­ergy-re­lated CO2 emis­sions – and that an­nu­al pro­gress in de­car­bon­isa­tion had halved between 2016 and 2019. Suc­cess­ful de­car­bon­isa­tion will re­quire ma­jor changes in the sec­tor, with much great­er levels of both in­vest­ment and in­nov­a­tion.We high­light ten top-level steps for con­struc­tion com­pan­ies that want to max­im­ise their ESG per­form­ance and be­ne­fits.
The im­port­ance of so­cial value
Rooted in the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment goals, there is grow­ing em­phas­is on so­cial value in the pro­duc­tion of goods, ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture. So­cial value is about en­sur­ing there is col­lect­ive be­ne­fit from the award of a con­tract that is way bey­ond just the price - the pro­duc­tion of goods and ser­vices should tan­gibly con­trib­ute to the well­being, re­si­li­ence and sus­tain­ab­il­ity of so­ci­ety and the en­vir­on­ment.In this short video, Ailsa Ritch­ie and Elean­or Lane dis­cuss how the le­gis­lat­ive back­ground is driv­ing the in­clu­sion of so­cial value and steps that busi­nesses are tak­ing to in­cor­por­ate it in to their work­ing prac­tices.