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Climate change & ESG

Climate Action & Sustainability

Climate change and sustainability are set to be defining issues of this decade. As a future facing law firm, we are committed to addressing our own impact on the environment and approach to sustainability, as well as advising clients with their related legal needs. 

This section of Insight draws together the very latest hot topics, issues, analysis and advice from CMS lawyers across a broad range of Sustainability topics.


ESG factors have moved from be­ing a niche con­cern to a stra­tegic board level pri­or­ity across all sec­tors and jur­is­dic­tions. Wheth­er a busi­ness is a fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tion, an en­ergy com­pany, or a tech start-up – all com­pan­ies with a fu­ture must now fo­cus on ESG as a busi­ness im­per­at­ive. 


Key out­comes from COP-15
At the end of 2022, the 15th Con­fer­ence of Parties of the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on Bio­lo­gic­al Di­versity cul­min­ated in a new Glob­al Biod­iversity Frame­work to 2030. Twenty three tar­gets re­quire broad...
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Draft Long-Term Plan for Ves­sels and Ports - Con­sulta­tion
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has pub­lished a draft Long-Term plan for ves­sels and ports on the Clyde & Hebrides (CHFS) and North­ern Isles (NIFS) net­works (2023 – 2045). This is the first ele­ment of its Is­lands...
The Ca­pa­city Mar­ket: What next?
In­tro­duc­tion Since it was in­tro­duced in 2014, the GB Ca­pa­city Mar­ket re­gime (the “CM Re­gime”) has served as a key tool for the UK gov­ern­ment to en­sure that there is a re­li­able elec­tri­city sup­ply in...
The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Hy­dro­gen Ac­tion Plan
Hy­dro­gen Ac­tion Plan The plan (pub­lished on 12 Decem­ber 2022) was cre­ated in light of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s vis­ion for Scot­land to be­come a lead­ing hy­dro­gen na­tion. Re­cog­nising the op­por­tun­ity open...
ESG and fin­ance
Sus­tain­able fin­ance and re­spons­ible in­vest­ment is an is­sue of glob­al im­port­ance which is front and centre of polit­ic­al, leg­al and mar­ket pri­or­it­ies.  
Ul­tra-Low Emis­sion Zone to cov­er Great­er Lon­don from Au­gust 2023
On 25 Novem­ber 2022, the May­or of Lon­don an­nounced plans to ex­pand the Ul­tra-Low Emis­sion Zone (“ULEZ”) in or­der to bet­ter tackle air pol­lu­tion (the “ULEZ Ex­pan­sion”). This change is planned to...
Ex­ec­ut­ive Re­mu­ner­a­tion
Link­ing ESG out­comes to ex­ec­ut­ive pay is now wide­spread, as com­pan­ies use their re­ward struc­tures to hold seni­or lead­ers to ac­count for their sus­tain­ab­il­ity ini­ti­at­ives.  Ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search three in five FTSE 100 ex­ec­ut­ive bo­nus plans now have an ESG com­pon­ent. The move to­wards great­er sus­tain­ab­il­ity is driv­en by a range of factors; not only are in­vestors and the gen­er­al pub­lic in­ter­ested in this is­sue, but new reg­u­la­tion and cor­por­ate gov­ernance stand­ards play a role here too. It’s not all plain sail­ing. One of the chal­lenges with ESG is ac­cur­ately meas­ur­ing and bench­mark­ing stand­ards, and this is a key is­sue when draft­ing ESG pay and bo­nus re­lated con­di­tions. Em­ploy­ers should take ad­vice be­fore draft­ing these pro­vi­sions to un­der­stand what they need to do in re­la­tion to:leg­al and reg­u­lat­ory con­sid­er­a­tion­show their ex­ec­ut­ive re­mu­ner­a­tion pro­vi­sions fit with their long term ESG strategythe evolving ESG land­scape and fu­ture proof­ing their ap­proach share­hold­er and in­vestor views sec­tor/mar­ket prac­tice
New code of con­duct for ESG rat­ings and data pro­viders
The ap­pet­ite for en­vir­on­ment­al, so­cial and gov­ernance (ESG) fo­cused fin­an­cial products and ser­vices gath­ers pace. At the same time, fin­an­cial ser­vices firms are un­der in­creas­ing scru­tiny for "gre­en­wash­ing"...
UK Cli­mate Trans­ition Plan Con­sulta­tion – ‘Am­bi­tion, Ac­tion and Ac­count­ab­il­ity’
Un­til 23 Feb­ru­ary 2023, the Trans­ition Plan Taskforce (TPT) which is work­ing to de­vel­op a ‘gold stand­ard’ for private sec­tor trans­ition plans, is con­sult­ing on the TPT Dis­clos­ure Frame­work and Im­ple­ment­a­tion...
UKCA mark­ing dead­line ex­ten­sion
The UK gov­ern­ment has ex­ten­ded the dead­line by when busi­nesses need to use the UKCA mark. For many products the CE mark­ing and re­versed ep­si­lon mark­ing may be used on the GB mar­ket un­til 31 Decem­ber 2024...
ESG: A sum­mary of the FCA’s Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Dis­clos­ure Re­quire­ments (SDR)...
The FCA’s long-awaited Con­sulta­tion Pa­per set­ting out its pro­pos­als for the UK’s sus­tain­ab­il­ity dis­clos­ure re­gime (CP22/20) was pub­lished on 25 Oc­to­ber 2022.
Twenty's Plenty: Free­dom of In­form­a­tion re­form, twenty years on?
Twenty years since the Free­dom of In­form­a­tion (Scot­land) Act 2002 was in­tro­duced, a con­sulta­tion based on a pro­posed Free­dom of In­form­a­tion Re­form (Scot­land) Bill has been launched (clos­ing on 02 Feb­ru­ary...