Archives: Climate Change

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Maryland is the First State to Regulate Carbon

Maryland has enacted the most rigorous state law in the country reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and otherwise addressing ESG stewardship including climate change. Businesses can and should treat this as the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our time. Literally resetting the trajectory of Maryland’s economy, making sweeping changes to the Old Line State’s already … Continue Reading

Low Embodied Carbon Concrete is Here

The golden opportunity in ESG may be in concrete. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials’ manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal. In a building, there is “upfront” embodied carbon in construction and then operational carbon largely from energy consumption. Embodied carbon is particularly important because it contributes more climate changing … Continue Reading

The “Social Cost of Carbon” is Back

On November 11, 2022, shortly after this blog was posted EPA proposed a rule to regulate emissions of methane. While the proposed rule is itself worthy of discussion, readers of this blog may be particularly interested in a key technical feature of the announcement, that EPA has introduced a new approach to estimating the social cost … Continue Reading

SEC Longstanding Disclosure Related to Climate Change Remains

Whilst much of the popular media is all but obsessed with the March 21, 2022, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed ESG Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures that will among other matters require companies for the first time to disclose greenhouse gas emission data, we continue to work with companies in complying with … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Against EPA Reining in Power of Agencies

In a decision that will rein in agency power across the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Congress did not clearly authorize the EPA to adopt broad rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric utility power plants. Specifically, the high court held, “Congress did not grant EPA in Section 111(d) of … Continue Reading

Glossary of Greenhouse Gas Terms

With proposed federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Securities and Exchange Commission requiring GHG disclosure and new state statutes, including a new Maryland law that requires not only disclosure, but also a mandated reduction in GHG emissions, a greater appreciation of the subject of GHG appears in order. This short glossary is an … Continue Reading

The UK Sets the Scene for Mandatory ESG Laws in the Western World

As we in the U.S. await action by the federal government on mandatory ESG laws, the United Kingdom has become the first European Union country to enact mandatory ESG disclosure laws. These new reporting requirements are of import beyond the shores of Great Britain in that they portend what government mandates are to come across … Continue Reading

ESG is an Opportunity for Commercial Landlords

At first blush the California Climate Corporate Accountability Act requires only a small number of the nation’s biggest corporations generating more than $1 Billion in annual revenue to report their greenhouse gas emissions, but a thoughtful consideration makes clear that if enacted SB 260 will require carbon reporting by thousands if not tens of thousands … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Proposes to Remove Barriers to Considering ESG in Plan Management

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm. Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. If … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Climate Change Regulation Case

If there was any question that the judiciary was a coequal and political branch of government, last Friday after President Biden was wheels up to attend the COP26 Glasgow climate conference, the Supreme Court agreed to review the Environmental Protections Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This litigation over the EPA’s scope of authority … Continue Reading

Maryland to Commit to World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees Initiative Tree Planting

The Maryland legislature has enacted and the Governor is expected to sign legislation that will take effect on June 1, 2021 establishing aggressive state tree planting goals and a host of other initiatives rooted in trees, all in an effort to respond to climate change. While other significant climate change legislation failed to pass in … Continue Reading

Green Buildings are Subsidizing Conventional Buildings Stymying Climate Progress

Green building bonds, which are higher rated and could provide cheaper capital for green building projects, can correct the current market that prices mortgages, green building or nongreen, the same, stimulating the economy and repairing the planet. The financial value of green buildings is well documented, from commanding higher rents, greater occupancy rates, and increased … Continue Reading

SEC to Update Required Climate Related Disclosures

On February 24, acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee, offered insight into the future direction of mandatory climate change disclosures and new ESG regulation, when she directed the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate related disclosure in public company filings. The Commission provided guidance in … Continue Reading

Carbon Tax Proposed in Portland will be First in the Nation

The City of Portland is proposing a carbon tax that would be the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Given the increased emphasis on climate change by the incoming Biden Administration the proposed ordinance should be on your required reading list. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are changing the climate. Energy … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes First Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits for Aircraft

Last Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. “This standard is the first time the U.S. has ever proposed regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft,” according to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. And as much as I have railed against more and regressive environmental … Continue Reading
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