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Climate Week NYC

"In the run-up to COP26, we are excited to host this program of events at Climate Week NYC. ESG issues impact not only us, as a business, but all of our clients. Our program reflects the multitude of topics within the ESG area, and a selection of the areas on which our lawyers are advising." – Herbert Short, Co-Lead of ESG, Eversheds Sutherland

(Un)boiling the ocean: Can financial regulation save the planet?

20 September 2021 | 09:15 - 10:15 ET | 14:15 – 15:15 BST

It is clear that financial institutions such as banks, insurers, asset managers and asset owners have a pivotal role to play in the race to save the planet and there is no shortage of initiatives to drive change.  But does the plethora of rules and regulations faced by financial institutions create a risk that firms will be overwhelmed by the burden of compliance and disclosure and lose sight of the ultimate goal?  The panel, made up of regulatory lawyers from Eversheds Sutherland and key industry players will look at

  • the key themes emerging in financial regulation across the world
  • the challenges faced by financial institutions in dealing with the volume of regulations
  • whether we are seeing any one regime starting to dominate
  • what might be coming next for firms.
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Reversing climate change will soon become part of the international legal system: How will climate change intersect with investor-state disputes?

20 September 2021 | 12:00 - 13:00 ET | 17:00 – 18:00 BST

International bodies and tribunals will find themselves stepping into the climate change arena with increasing frequency. States could find their actions (or inactions) challenged by other states, investors or interest groups. Environmental vandalism or negligence could open the door to human rights claims.  International law will adapt to address climate change concerns, and public and private actors alike need to be prepared for that change.  

In this program, hosted by global law firm Eversheds Sutherland, panelists will discuss:

  • the Paris Agreement and its future role in state to state disputes
  • how other key agreements such as bilateral investment treaties and multilateral treaties such as the Energy Charter Treaty will play a role in climate change disputes
  • human rights implications for businesses
  • whether ecocide will become an international crime. Could polluters find themselves before the International Criminal Court?
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Climate change disputes are on the rise: How courts and international tribunals will play an essential role in addressing the climate crisis

21 September 2021 | 08:45 – 09:45 ET | 13:45 – 14:45 BST

Climate change disputes are becoming increasingly important as a mechanism for advancing climate change policies, raising awareness and challenging activities. Globally the number of climate change cases worldwide has already more than doubled since 2015 with more than 1,000 cases brought in the past six years. Whilst many of the claims are brought against governments; public and private companies may also face significant climate actions, either in court or arbitral proceedings. With renewed pressure on private and public entities alike to commit to and deliver climate change targets, disputes will inevitably follow.

In this programme we will discuss some key recent global case developments and the future direction of travel, examining the court and tribunal’s role in addressing the climate crisis. Panelists will discuss:

  • who faces these disputes? Public companies, state owned companies, private companies, federal governments/countries, city administrations, and insurance companies all risk becoming parties to climate change disputes
  • cases that have already been brought - domestic and international (litigation and arbitration)
  • future trends.
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Financing the energy transition through debt capital markets

21 September 2021 | 11:00 - 12:00 ET | 16:00 – 17:00 BST

As the pace of the energy transition continues to accelerate, climate-related debt instruments – such as green bonds, sustainable bonds, transition bonds, climate bonds, and sustainability-linked bonds – are emerging as key financial instruments to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. In this roundtable discussion, hosted by global law firm Eversheds Sutherland, panelists will examine the role that debt instruments can play in financing climate and resilience actions and promoting sustainable development.  The discussion will cover:

  • What assets need to be financed to bring about energy transition?
  • What financing options are available?
  • Role of global Debt Capital Markets to finance the transition
  • Deeper dive into Green Bonds, Sustainable Bonds, Transition Bonds, Climate Bonds, and Sustainability-Linked Bonds
  • Science based targets when issuing green/transition/sustainability-linked bonds
  • What are the key success factors and market requirements?
  • What are investors saying and how are they categorizing and classifying investments?
  • Are sustainability-linked bonds ambitious enough for investors?
  • Why haven’t transition bonds gained broader acceptance?
  • Who is active and seeking innovation in this space?
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Hanging greenwashing out to dry – the overstating of “green” credentials and what to do about it

22 September 2021 | 08:45 – 09:45 ET | 13:45 – 14:45 BST

There is a growing demand for ESG financial products including green and sustainability related funds, bonds and loans. Investors and other stakeholders are also demanding that businesses set out in annual reports and other market facing material detailed information on their net zero strategy and how they are going to deliver on it. Within this environment,  concerns are being expressed as to whether the lack of a robust legal and regulatory framework is leading to greenwashing on a grand scale with the potential to be the next big mis-selling scandal. In this session we will consider the following topics:

  • What is greenwashing and how big a problem is it?
  • What is the role of government and regulators in addressing greenwashing?
  • What are the challenges for businesses in relation to sustainability reporting and in offering green products?
  • What do investors and other stakeholders need to look out for when assessing and comparing the green credentials of a business and/or its products?
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Big tech / big power – how the technology industry is tackling climate change challenges

22 September 2021 | 10:30 – 11:30 ET | 15:30 – 16:30 BST

As technology continues to embed itself deeper into the lives of people around the world we will look at some of the legal, commercial and reputational challenges for technology businesses in relation to climate change, with a particular focus on the E(nvironmental) in ESG, including in the following areas:

  • The environmental footprint of technology – given the necessary energy consumption for technology businesses (including those focused on blockchain, AI, smart technology, super computers, broadband, data centers and more), what sustainability and ethical considerations in this area, as well as obligations in relation to environmental, do technology businesses need to be aware of and comply with, both at board level and throughout the business.
  • As new legislation continues to be developed, what are technology businesses doing to keep up and future-proof their approach?
  • What are businesses doing in relation to their templates and their negotiations with customers focused on this area?
  • Building a sustainable supply chain – how are businesses looking to best achieve this including contractualizing ESG responsibilities, disclosures and net zero targets?
  • Powering data centers – green power procurement and emerging alternative sources of green power.
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Repurposing and repowering energy assets at end of life

Part of the 'From Transition to Transformation' webinar series

23 September 2021 | 10:00 - 11:00 ET | 15:00 – 16:00 BST

The energy transition means embracing both the shift to new, clean sources of energy, as well as the opportunity presented by repurposing retiring fossil-fired facilities. It also means efforts to manage stranded assets and otherwise plan for appropriate decommissioning.

Panelists will discuss:

  • how they are looking to make new uses of old assets
  • what’s driving their decisions
  • the issues they are grappling with in the transition.
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Investing in carbon credits, allowances and offsets

23 September 2021 | 12:00 – 13:00 ET | 17:00 – 18:00 BST

The past year has seen a significant increase in the interest in placing capital to work in the carbon markets.  Private equity, hedge funds, institutional investors and large banks are all becoming very active in taking positions in the allowance and offset markets.  While many players have long traded in the volatile RIN and LCFS Credit markets or have taken a position in those markets for compliance reasons, this new wave is seeking to capitalize on increasingly stable and long-term growth markets of allowances and offsets.

This panel of experts will explore the ways that an investor can put their capital to work while greening their investment portfolio.

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