As world leaders gather at COP28 in Dubai, there is widespread acknowledgment of the scale of action required to address climate change by accelerating the development of low-carbon energy sources, while also decarbonizing industry and transportation. This global energy transition will require largescale construction of renewables and other low-carbon energy infrastructure worldwide (particularly challenging in developing economies) as well as the development and implementation of new technologies and the scaling-up of existing technologies. Investments in batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage (CCS), sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and green hydrogen, among others, are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in hard-to-abate sectors in addition to power generation.
COP28 – the 28th annual United Nations climate meeting – takes place in Dubai from 30 November, but what can realistically be achieved against a backdrop of increasing geopolitical complexity? In this extract from a recent webinar, moderated by Roger Leese, co-head of Clifford Chance's Global Business and Human Rights practice, we explore some of the major themes that will be covered, including renewable energy, financing and the role of private capital, and carbon markets, and we contextualise what's on the agenda.
The global rise in renewable energy projects has brought into focus the need to decommission ageing fossil fuel assets effectively and sustainably. Decommissioning is often overlooked as part of the energy transition. Nonetheless, it is a crucial part of the journey and it can be problematic. The acquisition of fossil fuel assets by new entrants into the market – who may be under-resourced and under-estimate the potential decommissioning liabilities and responsibilities they are inevitably assuming – creates risks. The complexity, cost and scale of decommissioning activities are enormous, as are the inevitable associated environmental, legal and logistical challenges. As a consequence, the scope for regulatory, technical and financial disputes is extremely broad. This paper considers some of the ways in which parties to decommissioning projects may seek to limit their exposure to liability and to mitigate against the risk of being drawn into protracted and costly disputes.
Decommissioning is an integral part of the energy transition. The move by oil & gas companies to decarbonise their operations often leads to a transfer of their ageing assets to new, and often under-resourced, players. This can create opportunities but is also fraught with complexities and challenges for both outgoing and incoming operators. In this extract from a recent webinar, our experts discuss the risks arising in decommissioning operations, offer suggestions on how to mitigate and manage those risks, and identify key factors for any robust decommissioning strategy.
The green industrial policy revolution: Developments in trade, energy transition and geopolitics (June 2023)
Driven by the energy transition, national security concerns, and commitments to support domestic production, countries are increasingly taking measures to develop green economies and energy systems at home.
Another year of change in the securitisation markets draws to a close with the anticipation that there will be further significant changes, particularly in regulation, over the next year. In the regulatory space, this may lead to some meaningful divergence in how the EU and UK approach regulation of securitisation even if the basic substantive structure of the rules is likely to continue to align.
With increasing global demand for batteries to power the clean energy transition, the opportunities and risks are multiplying. New technology, new markets and new deals, including those associated with mineral extraction, human rights and the supply chain, regulatory changes and the race to find funding are giving rise to a number of issues for businesses to grapple with. In this extract from a recent seminar, our international team considers the implications for the automotive sector, which is predicted to make up to 90% of future demand for batteries, as well as renewable energy generation, energy storage and beyond.
The policy debate is again turning to how best to protect depositors with failed banks by ranking their deposits above other senior unsecured creditors in the creditor hierarchy in insolvency. While many jurisdictions already have depositor preference regimes, some do not and others, in particular the EU, are reconsidering their design and scope.
With the sales of Silicon Valley Bank to First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co. and Signature Bank to Flagstar Bank, N.A., much of the panic that embroiled the U.S. banking sector over the past few weeks appears to have subsided. The extraordinary measures taken by private and public actors to shore up the liquidity positions of community and regional banks and stem the further flight of deposits seem to have achieved their desired effect, at least insofar as no U.S. banks have failed since Signature's collapse. The FDIC ultimately did not take the emergency step of temporarily guaranteeing deposits of all U.S. banks, and the Fed ostensibly had enough confidence that the banking system could weather another interest rate hike in late March.
The European Commission is proposing a new Critical Raw Materials Act to ensure that the EU has access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials which are crucial to clean energy transition. Here our experts explore the proposed Act and how it might protect EU Member States from supply risks.
Regulation of the payments sector continues to evolve as technology drives further changes to consumer and wholesale payments, from blockchain-based central bank digital currencies and stablecoins to new embedded finance offerings and operational resilience challenges. We explore seven payments areas where we will see regulatory change, or renewed focus on enforcement, from global regulators over the next 12 months.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have an increasing impact on all businesses, globally. Here we take a look at some of the issues facing businesses from sustainable finance, to developments in carbon trading and the increasing use of ESG-related litigation.
What are the key trends for global disputes and international arbitration for the energy sector in 2023 and beyond? In our inaugural Energy Arbitration Trends Report we consider how the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as energy transition issues, such as decommissioning and regulatory change, all present significant challenges for energy sector participants.
Clifford Chance experts share their views on key trends for global disputes and international arbitration in 2023 and beyond
What is on the horizon for the use of data and technology in the healthcare and life sciences sectors? Where do opportunities lie, and what should participants be thinking about before making the next big move? We provide an outlook on Health Tech trends to watch in 2023.
Evolving technologies, increased digital connectivity, cyber risk, geopolitical tensions, climate change, supply chain disruption and changing markets are shaping government policies, regulation and legal risk in relation to the use of data and technology. This legal, economic and political landscape is informing board agendas and investment approaches as businesses review and refocus their digital strategies. We look at the data and technology trends to watch in 2023.
Last year was a tough one for fintech with the collapse of a number of high-profile industry players, as well as wider economic pressures including the war in Ukraine, supply chain challenges and high inflation. Following the bold predictions we made last year, we highlight the five key trends for fintech in 2023.
We are currently witnessing a slowdown from the deal-making heights of 2021 and early 2022, as geopolitical instability, inflationary pressure and interest rate rises have dampened M&A activity. While these issues will persist for some time, cooling the market overall, we are confident there will be busy pockets of deal-making activity in 2023.
Just over two years after it was first proposed, the agreed text of the new Markets in Crypto-assets Regulation (MiCA) has beenreleased. MiCA aims to create an EU regulatory framework for the issuance of, intermediating and dealing in, cryptoassets. It will introduce licensing and conduct of business requirements as well as a market abuse regime with respect to cryptoassets. With parts of MiCA anticipated to come into force from spring 2024, we look at what issuers of stablecoins and other cryptoassets, custodians and other crypto service providers need to know now.
DORA: What the new European framework for digital operational resilience means for your business (November 2022)
On 10 November 2022, the European Parliament voted to adopt a new EU regulation on digital operational resilience for the financial sector (DORA). With obligations under DORA coming into effect late in 2024 or early 2025 at the latest, in this briefing we take a closer look at its impact and consider what the regulation will mean for firms, their senior managers and operations and what firms should be doing now in preparation for day one compliance.
COP27 – the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – is intended to build on the work that took place at COP26 last year and move on from pledges to implementation. This year's Conference is lower key and more procedural. Against a backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, increasing geopolitical tensions, food, and energy security issues, rising inflation and an uncertain economic outlook, Clifford Chance experts take a look at the themes of this year's conference and what is likely to be achieved.
E-fuels and green ammonia – The solution for decarbonising shipping and heavy transport? (October 2022)
Electro-fuels, or e-fuels, have a carbon footprint of almost zero compared with hydrocarbons and are likely to play a key role in supporting the global energy transition. They are a promising alternative to fossil fuels in the transport sector, particularly shipping and aviation, and are attracting growing interest from stakeholders looking to limit CO2 emissions and meet decarbonisation targets.
The regulatory landscape for digital services is being fundamentally redefined in the European Union (EU), with a boom in the number of legislative initiatives being progressively introduced and increasing extraterritorial reach. This briefing provides a bird's eye view of some of the most recent adopted and pending proposals: the Digital Services Act, the Data Governance Act, the Digital Markets Act, the Data Act, the Cybersecurity Directive (NIS2), the Artificial Intelligence Act and the e-Privacy Regulation.
On 18 July 2022, the High Court declared that the UK's Net Zero Strategy is, in part, unlawful and ordered the Secretary of State to revise it by March 2023. In this briefing, we consider the judgment and its implications for future climate policy and, more generally, for UK climate litigation.
As part of the Federal Government's crackdown on greenwashing, an independent review of the Australian Carbon Credit Units regime will be carried out by former Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb.
As the UK strives towards its ambitious target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, large-scale investment will be required in the offshore wind industry.
The transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to address the climate crisis was never going to be easy and involves expensive trade-offs between economics and climate. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made that transition much harder as energy security becomes a major problem for many countries. David Evans, Senior Counsel and co-head of the Americas Energy and Projects Group at Clifford Chance in Washington D.C explores the legal and practical challenges that need to be considered.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) ushers in a new era for the digital sector in the EU, as compliance will require some of the most influential digital companies to make unprecedented, far-reaching changes to the way they operate and interact with their customers, even going as far as to rethink aspects of their business models.
While Northern Europe and the UK started investing in offshore wind more than 20 years ago, France was slow off the mark. Now, that is about to change, as the development of the first French projects gets under way.
Class actions have long been a feature of the legal landscape in the US, but there are clear indications that their reach is expanding. In this extract from a recent webinar, Clifford Chance experts explore the key risks in relation to securities and shareholder litigation, claims arising from data breaches and data misuse, and climate change litigation.
Consultation on nature-related financial disclosure framework – Adopting the TCFD model (April 2022)
Building on the progress made by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (the "TCFD"), companies are now likely to come under pressure to report and act on nature-related risks and opportunities associated with their business, in addition to climate-related risks.