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Climate change: succeed in a net-zero future

02 November 2021 | Insight

The risks associated with climate change go way beyond the purely environmental.

In our climate change briefing we consider at a high level the political, regulatory and commercial pressures arising from climate change and examine the opportunities and rewards for corporates leading the charge into a net-zero future. The shift to a net-zero economy is accelerating. Across geographies and sectors, stakeholders are judging corporates by both their contribution to climate change and their efforts to mitigate its effects. Climate change demands are certainly keeping business leaders up at night.

Regulation

Climate change-related regulation is vast, with businesses and consumers facing looming shifts in regulation as states strive to decarbonise their economies as the damage caused by climate change becomes clear. According to LSE to date, there were more than 2000 different laws and policies relating to climate change across 200 countries. However, climate change laws lack uniformity. This is due to the unique effects of climate change on different geographies, and political will, influenced by voters and pressure groups in each country. Despite variations in national climate change policies, it is increasingly evident that companies of all types come under greater scrutiny globally. For businesses, the challenge is in navigating regulations and keeping on top of change.

Litigation

Over the past years both companies and governments have been facing a rapid increase in climate change-related litigation. While cases in the US have a predominant focus on claims against companies, in Europe the majority of actions are brought against governments. In the Asia-Pacific region there is a mix of types of claim. Globally, financing, contracts, human rights, and adequate disclosures as well as government action or inaction are all under scrutiny. However, while certain trends are developing, these actions are brought in various jurisdictions may have very different outcomes – as many decisions are very specific to the national law of the country.

See our climate change briefing for more information.

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