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Tag Archives: environment

China Encourages Green Finance to Meet Clean Development Goals

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 18 October 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will convene, after the week-long National Day holiday, marking one of the most important dates on the Chinese political calendar. Among the issues that National Congress members will surely discuss, is the importance of implementing strategies … Continue Reading

European Parliament: Substances of Concern in the Circular Economy Are Difficult to Address

By Paul Davies and Michael Green A new European Parliament briefing highlights the benefits of, and difficulties associated with, transitioning the chemicals industry to a circular economy. The traditional economy typically involves purchasing and using a product, and then disposing that product when it no longer has utility (i.e. the “take-make-dispose” approach to resources). Conversely, … Continue Reading

Urban Mining Briefing Reveals Huge Global Potential

By Jörn Kassow and Eun Kyung Lee Germany’s increasing shortage of natural resources and the corresponding mounting cost of extracting raw materials signals the need for alternative and innovative ways of collecting and recycling secondary raw materials. One promising method of securing potential secondary raw materials is “urban mining”, which aims primarily at reclaiming raw … Continue Reading

First Subsidy-Free Solar Farm Opens in UK

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The first solar farm has successfully launched in the UK without government subsidisation. Clayhill Solar Farm, a 10 megawatt (MW) site near Flitwick in Bedfordshire, is capable of generating enough power for 2500 homes. Clayhill’s developer, Anesco, is a private company specialising in the design and development of solar … Continue Reading

Portuguese Children Crowdfund Climate Change Suit Against 47 Countries

By Paul Davies and Michael Green Six Portuguese children are raising funds to sue 47 European countries, asserting that their right to life has been threatened because governments have allegedly failed to adequately deal with climate change. With the support of lawyers from the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), the children will ask nations in … Continue Reading

China’s War on Pollution: Measuring the Economic Impact

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China’s State Council released an “Opinion Concerning Establishment of a Long-Term Mechanism for Early-Warning and Monitoring of Environmental and Natural Resources Carrying Capacity,” which will halt major projects in heavily polluted areas, according to a report from the official Xinhua news agency. The opinion also calls for authorities to … Continue Reading

China Unveils Plan to Ban Fossil Fuel Vehicles

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Addressing a car forum in Tianjin, Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, announced that the Chinese government is developing plans to follow in the footsteps of some European countries to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles. “Some countries have worked out a timetable to stop production and … Continue Reading

China Dominates Global Investments in Renewable Energy

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Market research has long recognized China as the largest investor in its own domestic renewable energy industry. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested US$102 billion in 2015 alone. However, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that China’s dominance in renewables … Continue Reading

PRI’s Private Equity Terms Guidance Focuses on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Factors

By Paul Davies and Michael Green On 13 July 2017, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) launched guidance on incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) provisions in private equity fund terms. The publication, Incorporating Responsible Investment Requirements into Private Equity Fund Terms (the Guidance), followed a year-long consultation period with PRI signatories, expert counsel, and industry … Continue Reading

Proposed Draft Legislation Clamps Down on Soil Pollution in China

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 22 June 2017, Chinese legislators released draft proposals to combat soil pollution in China at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The legislation complements the State Council’s ambitious plan to address soil pollution – an area not specifically covered by Chinese environmental law … Continue Reading

A New European Standard for “Green Finance”

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The High Level Expert Group on sustainable finance  (the Group), which the European Commission (the EC) established, published its interim report on 13 July 2017. The report sets out the key steps required to create a financial system that supports sustainable investment, as well as identifying areas for financial … Continue Reading

Will Tougher Environmental Laws Mean Measurable Change for Pollution in China?

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In reforming and updating its environmental laws, China has until recently been focusing on air pollution. Attention is now turning to addressing water and soil pollution as well. For example, the Chinese government is now considering more robust penalties for those responsible for water pollution, indicating that the government … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes Action to Streamline Environmental Reporting

By Jörn Kassow and Eun-Kyung Lee On June 9, 2017, the European Commission (EC) published its Action Plan to Streamline Environmental Reporting (COM(2017) 312), summarising the findings of its review of reporting requirements following the 2015 ‘Better Regulation Initiative.’ As part of this 2015 Initiative, the EC carried out a fitness check focused on assessing environmental … Continue Reading

Pharmaceuticals in The Environment: What will EU Environment Roadmap Mean for Pharmaceuticals?

By Paul Davies, Elisabetta Righini and Rosa Espin On 28 April 2017, the European Commission (the EC) published a “roadmap” on the strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment, particularly in the aquatic environment. Concurrently, the EC launched a 12-week open public consultation to address the environmental pollution caused by human and veterinarian pharmaceutical substances. … Continue Reading

China Increases Focus on Electronic Waste

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate As a world leader in the manufacturing of electronic devices, China is beginning to reform its rules and regulations to ensure that the resulting framework is able to keep pace with the rapid developments now taking place in this sector both in China and globally. Two recent developments in … Continue Reading

“Spain United for Climate”: The Proposed New Climate Change and Energy Transition Law

By Paul Davies and Rosa Espin Spain is leading the fight against climate change with a proposed new Climate Change and Energy Transition Law. The Spanish government regards climate change as one of the greatest challenges facing the country. Since 22 April 2016, the Paris Agreement (which sets out a global action plan to avoid … Continue Reading

Belt and Road Forum Positions China as Leading Proponent of Global Trade

By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Andrew Westgate Leaders from around the world, including 20 heads of state, attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15. The attendees at the forum agreed on guiding principles for the initiative, and the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the New Development … Continue Reading

The OECD’s View on Integration of ESG Issues into Investments – What Next?

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report (OECD Report) on investment governance and integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors on 2 May 2017. The OECD Report develops work already carried out by the organisation on the regulation of investment companies and pension fund … Continue Reading

Conservation Finance: An Increasingly Attractive Concept for Investors?

By Paul Davies and Michael Green Broadly defined, conservation finance is the raising of capital to support the conservation of land, water and resources. This concept started with “debt for nature” swaps during the 1980s and 1990s whereby developing countries agreed to protect ecosystems using revenues freed up by sovereign debt relief (such deals usually … Continue Reading

Ministry of Environmental Protection Steps-up “War on Pollution”

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Earlier this month, during a round of surprise inspections, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection Zhao Yangmin publicly shamed the city officials of Langfang, a city in Hebei province, for failing to take action after a severe pollution warning was issued on April 2, 2017.  Deputy Minister … Continue Reading

Update: Stricter EU Environmental Performance Standards to Apply to Large Combustion Plants by 2021

By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch Emissions from approximately 2,900 large combustion plants in the EU, including coal-fired power stations as well as peat, oil and gas power plants, are now likely to be subject to stricter environmental performance standards. These updated standards (“Best Available Techniques Conclusions for Large Combustion Plants” – BREF LCP), based on … Continue Reading
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