Last week marked the conclusion of the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). As we previously discussed, the expectations were COP28 would tackle a range of critical issues toward achieving the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Below is an overview of the most significant developments coming out of Dubai, as reflected in the COP28 agreement, and the expectations for future climate action.Continue Reading COP28: Unpacking the Results and the Road Ahead in Global Climate Action
The 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiating process will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, beginning today, November 30, through December 12. As in the past, we are closely following the events on the ground in Dubai and the actions taken and the commitments made toward achieving the climate change goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The themes of COP28, set by the host nation, include technology and innovation (aligning on actions by governments and the private sector to limit warming to 1.5°C); inclusion (engagement with diverse peoples); frontline communities (ensuring the most climate-vulnerable communities can adapt); and finance (funding to close the finance gap on adaptation and the energy transition and aligning public and private finance with the Paris Agreement’s goals). Beyond these themes – that will guide the two-week negotiations – there are a few specific issues we expect to be a priority at COP28, which we briefly discuss below and intend to follow closely. Continue Reading COP28: What to Expect in Dubai
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard and related guidance are widely accepted as leading sources for companies to use in quantifying and reporting their GHG emissions. Companies report GHG emissions for a number of reasons (both legally mandated and voluntary) and in a number of contexts. Accurate accounting and reporting is critical because inaccuracies in emissions reporting can potentially expose the reporting entity to several types of legal liability, as evidenced by the recent proliferation of lawsuits alleging “greenwashing” claims and increasing regulatory scrutiny in this area.Continue Reading Updates to the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and Guidance: What to Expect
On June 5, 2023, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published its US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap. This report addresses the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) requirement that the DOE “develop a technologically and economically feasible national strategy and roadmap to facilitate widespread production, processing, delivery, storage, and use of clean hydrogen.” Notably, in developing this strategy, Congress instructed the DOE to focus on clean hydrogen production and use from a variety of sources—including natural gas, coal, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and biomass.Continue Reading Department of Energy Establishes Clean Hydrogen Roadmap
On December 17, 2022, the US Department of Energy published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Support for Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis, Manufacturing, and Recycling.
Hydrogen plays a critical role in the United States’ energy mix, providing energy security, economic value, and environmental benefits. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued the NOI to achieve such goals by providing financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. These funds were appropriated by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (more commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)).Continue Reading DOE Publishes Notice of Intent to Fund Clean Hydrogen Projects
On October 18, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on December 6, 2022, for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf off central and northern California. This will be the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first-ever US sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development. …
Continue Reading First Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sale in the Pacific Creates Opportunity for Developers
On May 3, 2022, the Railroad Commission of Texas (Railroad Commission) voted to approve three actions that represent a major step forward in facilitating the deployment of carbon capture, use and sequestration activities (CCUS) in Texas. Specifically, the Railroad Commission approved:
- Publication of proposed amendments to its rules implementing the state program for geologic storage of anthropogenic CO2 and incorporating federal requirements;
- Submittal to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of a pre-application to gain regulatory authority over Class VI underground injection control (UIC) wells that are used for injection of CO2 into deep subsurface formations; and
- A request that the Governor formally ask EPA for Class VI UIC well program approval. [i]
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed its much-anticipated proposal to require that public companies disclose climate-related information. The proposed rule is significant because, for the first time, the SEC would mandate that companies (including foreign companies) publicly traded in the US disclose climate-related risk and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions information beyond the risk information currently required by existing SEC rules applicable to registration statements and annual reports.
Continue Reading What’s Worth Understanding: The SEC Proposes a Mandatory Climate Disclosure Regime for Public Companies
On February 8, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released a Straw Proposal containing proposed updates to the existing Stretch Energy Code and an outline for the new Specialized Opt-In Stretch Energy Code for public comment.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Regulators Begin to Clear the Path to Net-Zero Emissions
Two recent actions by the Biden Administration will identify areas of focus for environmental justice and therefore influence environmental enforcement priorities, federal permitting and licensing, and federal spending, among other actions. On February 18, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released the beta (or draft) version of its Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a key component of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The Justice40 Initiative set the goal of “delivering 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments” to disadvantaged communities. The CEJST serves a specific purpose: to help agencies identify disadvantaged communities in order to direct federal benefits and help agencies measure whether 40 percent of benefits are being received by those communities.
Continue Reading Biden Administration Rolls Out New Climate, Economic, and Environmental Justice Tools