ESG: politics and policy

We support businesses and investors assess the risks and opportunities associated with the rapidly evolving world of ESG policy and to analyse the public and political expectations that drive it. We have a proven track record in providing strategic advice across a wide range of sectors including financial services, manufacturing, energy, technology, amongst others. We help firms understand the broader reporting environment – the headline choices that policymakers are faced with, and the liabilities that arise for business as a result of these choices.

Our offer helps clients get ahead of policy and regulation to take up market leadership through:

  • Strategic planning for ESG policy evolution
  • Evidence building and communications on ESG performance
  • ESG due diligence for investors and acquirors
  • Corporate resilience planning for changes in ESG audit or liability
  • Policymaker engagement and advocacy

Contact us here if you would like to receive our ESG prospectus.

Team

Sustainability icon

Nature-based solutions: cost-effective and credible?

Sustainability

Charlotte Roberts
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Not all solutions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change are technological. So-called ‘nature-based’ solutions are rapidly increasing in prominence, successfully breaking through conservation circles to mainstream policy since the 2019 Madrid UN climate conference.

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Adaptation and resilience: Who builds? Who pays?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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Over the last few years, climate finance investment has focused on mitigation over adaptation and resilience. A few things are probably driving this. One is the sense that adaptation and resilience are responses to potential physical changes still in the relatively distant future. Mitigation, by contrast, is seen as an urgent race to reduce emissions to forestall more…

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The race for climate finance leadership

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Last week, the City of London Corporation and the UK Green Finance Institute hosted a ‘Green Horizon Summit’. At the event, a package of proposals was unveiled by the UK government aiming to cement the UK as a global centre for green finance and signal something of the UK government’s post-Brexit vision for the City of London. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s…

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Energy and commodities icon

What decisions are needed for the UK to achieve its hydrogen ambitions?

Energy & Commodities

Lilah Howson-Smith
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With the prime minister set to make a set-piece speech next week on how the UK meets its net-zero commitment, the big question remains how far he will emphasise the importance of hydrogen to the country’s green ambitions. Pressure has been ratcheting up in the context of Europe and China committing substantial funds to hydrogen in their recovery plans, but the UK has not…

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Climate policy - coming to your plate

Sustainability

Charlotte Roberts
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On November 3rd, Global Counsel hosted a panel discussion on the role of diet in achieving climate objectives. The discussion focused on how likely we are see forthcoming UK policy aimed at addressing a dietary shift and whether we can expect to see governments increasingly intervene in this area in the same way they do in energy or transport.

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EU farm policy reform: what’s on the table?

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Last week’s extensive negotiations in the European Parliament have set the tone for how far the EU is willing to integrate its stated sustainability objectives with agricultural policy. The two areas of policy have often been at loggerheads, but the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy released earlier this year had created some expectation that things may be shifting…

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Is an EU-wide ban on petrol and diesel cars imminent?

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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A decision is imminent on whether the UK will bring forward its phase-out date for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) from 2035 to 2030 – in itself already a radically different position than this time last year where the phase-out date was set at 2040. Pressure is mounting from all sides as without this decision, the UK stands no chance of meeting its net…

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Boohoo's troubles: ESG cannot be ignored

Sustainability

Michaela Smart
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Worker exploitation and poor labour conditions have long been a major problem for the fashion supply chain. Advocates have been campaigning for better conditions for years, but the Boohoo scandal in its UK factories this summer was a salutary reminder that this is not a problem confined to emerging economies.

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Success at COP26: four issues to watch from GC's experts

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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We hear from four of our climate and energy experts on key issues that will impact the success or failure of COP26: China's climate action policies; a shift from mitigation to resilience and adaptation in sustainability efforts; the Paris Agreement's controversial global carbon market; and how different US climate policy may look depending on the eleciton results.

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The business case for net-zero

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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The last six months have seen several large companies from a range of sectors announce net-zero targets for GHG emissions. Visa, Volvo, Apple and others have all lead the way, and even banks like Credit Suisse have been changing their lending practices based on a borrower’s emissions. Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Repsol and Total are seeking to reduce their emissions by one…

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Food standards: taking back control

Trade & Manufacturing

Charlotte Roberts
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Controversies over ‘chlorinated chicken’ and ‘hormone-injected beef’ in the US/UK trade deal talks are at the centre of a heated debate on UK food standards. The debate is putting the spotlight on a fundamental issue facing the UK after Brexit: the country is taking back control of its regulatory framework - but to do what? And while the…

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ESG in private equity: will integration tools be matched by pressure to use them?

General Policy

Felix Cazalet
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Covid-19 is likely to accelerate pressures for the meaningful integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the private equity (PE) industry. The twin dynamics of a greater public focus on investors’ ESG credentials and an increased scrutiny of the PE industry writ large could combine to encourage greater use of existing integration tools. With…

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Rolling back or building back better?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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As governments globally introduce emergency support to combat the impacts of covid-19, there have been calls to ensure this is aligned with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives. However, covid-19 has also prompted many governments to lift or suspend regulations to reduce burdens on corporates. Where does the balance lie? Global Counsel is tracking ESG…

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A tax whose time has come?

Energy & Commodities

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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Carbon border adjustment taxes are not a new concept. The idea applies carbon pricing to goods that enter the single market where products are manufactured offshore have avoided carbon pricing. In theory, this prevents 'carbon leakage'. Europe's energy-intensive industries, especially cement and steel, have long argued they need a level playing field against imports with…

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The next frontier in ESG: race, policing and diversity

General Policy

Elizabeth Beall
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The current wave of activism around race, racial awareness and diversity is certain to impact on ESG – particularly as the ‘S’ aspect gains in prominence due to covid-19. The social components of ESG policies and strategies have in the past largely focused on attention to human rights and labour conditions, but the list of what is included is expanding. While…

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Past the tipping point

Energy & Commodities

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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The covid-19 crisis has more than shaken our society, it has changed us. Almost every element of day-to-day life has been altered or adjusted. Some of those changes might be permanent. None more so than the energy sector.

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Asia policymaker perspectives: Green mobility and infrastructure in Southeast Asia

Sustainability

Andrew Yeo
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In a new series of interviews, members of Global Counsel's Asia team will interview thought-leaders in policy and business from across the region, focusing on key themes for Global Counsel including geopolitics, trade and technological developments and the impact on business and politics.

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Risks under the radar: Anticipating supply chain risks for the UK food and drink sector

Sustainability

Geoffrey Norris
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The 2018 shortage of CO2 highlighted the large scale reliance on CO2 in the food and drink industry and the fragility of the supply chain delivering CO2 into the market. In this report commissioned by the Food and Drink Federation, Global Counsel examines other potential risks that may currently be underestimated within the food and drink sector and sets forth a framework…

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