Tag Archives: Stuart Kaplow

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

Selling the Sun: Sale of a House with Solar Panels is Fraught with Peril

  There are more than 3 Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof.  The Inflation Protection Act of 2022 extended the 30% federal tax credit for residential solar panels through 2034 which is predicted to more than triple that number of solar installations. And as those houses are each year … 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

California Appeals Board Gender Diversity Loss

Last month, the California Secretary of State appealed the decision by a California Superior Court striking down as unconstitutional California’s board diversity law, which required all publicly traded companies headquartered in the State to include a minimum number of female directors. In 2018, Women on Boards (Senate Bill 826) was signed into law to advance … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Designating PFAS as Hazardous

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to designate two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the “Superfund” law. The proposal applies to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers, actually, a group of … Continue Reading

UN Human Rights Assessment of Uyghurs by China Drives ESG

We have blogged repeatedly that “the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor” is a key element, if not singularly the most important principle of a business’s practices. That point was driven home with the release last Wednesday, by The United Nations Human Rights Office assessment of human rights concerns in China’s Xinjiang … Continue Reading

New Greenwashing Case is Troubling to Future of ESG

On July 6, FossielVrij NL filed a greenwashing lawsuit in the Amsterdam District Court against Dutch airline KLM. The overseas litigation is troubling because at its core the theory of the case is apocalyptic environmentalism, the belief that unless humans drastically reduce consumption population growth and affluence will overwhelm our planet. In this instance that … Continue Reading

Phase 1 Standard for All Appropriate Inquiries in Limbo

It is hugely significant that the Phase l Environmental Site Assessment standard is in limbo because that assessment is conducted in the vast majority of the 5.6 million commercial real estate transactions each year in the United States (i.e., including for a real estate purchaser to avoid liability under the Superfund law). The U.S. Environmental … 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

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to be Enforced June 21

Congress passed, and on December 23, 2021 President Biden signed into law, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The new law that will be enforced beginning June 21, 2022 has implications for imported cotton and tomatoes and most significantly for solar panels. The Act, codified at 22 U.S.C. §6901, establishes a rebuttable presumption that any … 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

SEC Charges Mining Company with Misleading Investors in its ESG Disclosures

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month charged Vale S.A., a publicly traded Brazilian mining company and one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, with making false and misleading claims about the safety of the Brumadinho dam including through its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures. According to the SEC’s complaint, for years, … Continue Reading

You Should Comment on the SEC’s Transformative Proposed ESG Rule

Note, after this was posted, the SEC extended the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures from the originally scheduled close date of May 20, 2022 until June 17, 2022. We posted some weeks ago when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a long awaited proposed new … Continue Reading
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