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ESG – Environmental, Social & Governance

CMS Kluge dekker alle juridiske sider knyttet til bærekraft, miljø- , sosiale- og forretningsetiske forhold. Vi følger utviklingen nasjonalt og internasjonalt tett vedrørende ESG og finansielle forhold, og bistår jevnlig klienter i et bredt spekter av ESG relaterte områder, inkludert finans, kontraktsforpliktelser, rapportering og risikostyring. Vi følger særlig utviklingen av det rettslige rammeverket som stammer fra EUs Green Deal, og dets implikasjon for blant annet konkurranse- og statsstøtteregler samt grønne anskaffelsesprosesser.

27/10/2021
Climate Risk re­port
At COP26 in­sti­tu­tion af­ter in­sti­tu­tion ca­me for­ward to make stron­ger com­mit­ments to what is now broad­ly se­en in most countries as a com­mon goal: to re­du­ce glo­bal car­bon dio­xi­de emis­sions. In par­ti­cu­lar, the pri­va­te sec­tor step­ped up to the pla­te. For examp­le, the Glas­gow Fi­nan­ci­al Al­li­an­ce for Net Zero po­sited a po­ten­ti­al USD 130tn of pri­va­te ca­pi­tal to ac­ce­le­rate the green tran­sition. COP26 al­so es­calated the ro­le of climate dis­closu­res in achie­ving net zero. To achie­ve glo­bal com­pa­ra­bi­li­ty, the In­ter­na­tio­nal­Sustai­na­bi­li­ty Stan­dards Board (ISSB) is to de­li­ver a glo­bal ba­se­line that gi­ves in­ves­tors in­for­ma­tion about the climate and sustai­na­bi­li­ty risks in re­la­tion to com­pa­nies they (may) in­vest in. Furt­her, the UK in­tro­du­ced require­ments for all li­sted com­pa­nies to pro­du­ce net-zero tran­sition plans by 2023. These are se­en as dri­vers for achie­ving climate-po­si­ti­ve in­ves­ting.In­ter­na­tio­nal com­mer­ci­al lawyers have a cru­ci­al ro­le to play in na­vi­ga­ting and im­ple­men­ting the fram­eworks that emer­ge from COP26. Being guar­di­ans of the ru­le of law and fa­ci­li­ta­tors of bu­si­ness and tra­de, lawyers will be at the cent­re of discus­sions on what our cli­ents are requi­red to do, and al­so on what they should do in light of wi­der socie­tal and re­pu­ta­tio­nal con­si­de­ra­tions. It is in our cli­ents’ inte­rests that we guide them toward out­co­mes in line with wi­der socie­tal am­bitions. To do ot­her­wise would, among ot­her things, risk placing them at a com­pe­ti­ti­ve dis­ad­van­ta­ge as the world pi­vots toward a cle­a­rer climate mi­ti­ga­tion agen­da. Climate Risk is a broad term and covers a multi­tu­de of con­cepts. This re­port fo­cu­ses on three le­gal risks. First, of fi­nan­ci­al in­sti­tu­tions hol­ding cor­po­ra­tes to account over per­ce­i­ved climate risks. Second, the risk to cor­po­ra­tes on what they do and say about the impact on their bu­si­ness from (or from their bu­si­ness on) climate chan­ge. Fi­nal­ly, risk of li­ti­ga­tion against cor­po­ra­tes re­la­ting to climate chan­ge.As lawyers, what we see is broad­ly a great de­sire among our cli­ents to be part of the so­lu­tion on climate chan­ge. Al­most all ma­jor cor­po­rate cli­ents that we speak to wish to take po­si­ti­ve steps that are in line with the de­sire for climate ac­tion, and al­so to ca­pi­ta­li­se on the op­port­u­nities pre­sented as we tran­sition to a net zero eco­no­my. We find that, among the in­vest­ment com­mu­ni­ty, vast ca­pi­tal is re­ady and avai­lab­le to be de­ploy­ed on in­fra­struc­tu­re and ot­her pro­jects that will push the agen­da for­ward. The ques­tion is whether the­re is suf­fi­ci­ent clarity on the agen­da, the ru­les and the risks in­volved.As this re­port shows, a key dri­ver of Climate Risk for cor­po­ra­tes re­vol­ves around in­for­ma­tion. Both quan­ti­fi­ab­le in­for­ma­tion about the po­ten­ti­al di­rect impacts of climate chan­ge on par­ti­cu­lar sec­tors and bu­si­nes­ses. And al­so con­sis­tent, com­pa­rab­le and re­li­ab­le in­for­ma­tion about the com­pa­nies them­sel­ves. Com­pa­nies are pro­du­cing re­ports that are delu­ging in­ves­tors on how they are measu­ring and ma­na­ging their impact on and from climate chan­ge. How­e­ver, the­re is so­me dis­tan­ce to go be­fore in­ves­tors can com­pa­re the in­for­ma­tion across the eco­no­my to make in­for­med de­ci­sions. Or­ga­ni­sa­tions such as Ba­rin­ga, who have kind­ly con­tri­buted to this re­port, sup­port the same cli­ents from a pa­ral­lel per­s­pec­ti­ve. They help in­ves­tors and cor­po­ra­tes to as­sess climate risk exposure by using Ba­rin­ga’s Climate Chan­ge Sce­na­rio Mo­del­ling. To­ols such as these are in­va­luab­le for ma­king the best de­ci­sions from the in­for­ma­tion avai­lab­le on risks to com­pa­nies and the cre­di­bi­li­ty of their adap­ta­tion and tran­sition plans.On climate li­ti­ga­tion, this is a di­rect and growing risk to cor­po­ra­tes who fall un­der the spot­light of a va­rie­ty of po­ten­ti­al claims against an in­creas­ing num­ber of po­ten­ti­al clai­mants. It is pru­dent to ac­tive­ly ma­na­ge this risk through dis­pute avoi­dan­ce stra­te­gies, having plans in place to deal quick­ly and ef­fec­tive­ly with the si­tua­tion whe­re a claim is brought, and un­der­stan­ding the key fe­atu­res that are ty­pi­cal­ly at play in such li­ti­ga­tion.Cor­po­ra­tes are well awa­re that climate risks are an in­te­gral fe­atu­re of their bu­si­ness plan­ning. What so­me oc­ca­sio­nal­ly cri­ti­ci­se is the lack of long term cer­tain­ty. Ma­king knee jerk de­ci­sions based on wool­ly po­li­ti­cal sen­ti­ments that could chan­ge to­mor­row rar­ely ma­kes good bu­si­ness sen­se. Cle­a­rer long term po­li­cy state­ments from govern­ments and in­ter-govern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tions can help on this, as well as cle­a­rer po­li­cies on how govern­ments see the shape of the fu­tu­re zero car­bon eco­no­my, and the pat­hways to it. Qui­te apart from the out­co­mes of COP26, with the pri­va­te sec­tor com­mit­ting en mas­se to the climate agen­da and the abi­li­ty to scru­ti­ni­se the pri­va­te sec­tor’s re­spon­se through climate dis­closu­res, net zero plans and ot­her ac­tions they take, we an­ti­ci­pa­te that the is­sue of Climate Risk will con­ti­nue to rise up boardroom agen­das.

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