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

Insights

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A global ESG reporting standard: where are we, and where are we heading?

Sustainability

Felicity Hall
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Reporting standards and frameworks are a crucial tool for addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. They help organisations to measure, understand and communicate their exposure to ESG risks and opportunities, promoting transparency with stakeholders and informing strategy. Over the past few years, various guidelines for ESG reporting have emerged,…

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Net zero and health: how public health also depends on fighting climate change

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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Ermenegilda Boccabella, Energy & Climate Adviser; and Dr Harpreet Sood, Health Adviser and practicing clinician, look at the impact of climate change on human health.

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Fit for 55 and the future of European energy companies

Energy & Commodities

Giorgio Corbetta
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The energy companies emerging from the flurry of legislation the European Commission will release on July 14th will be very different from the existing ones. As the energy sector is compelled to reduce its emissions to close to zero by 2050 to achieve the EU net-zero goal, the commission is using its executive power to forge a new model of energy business that better fits…

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The G7 UK Summit: what you need to know

General Policy

Denzil Davidson
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Jon Garvie, Practice lead for Policy; Denzil Davidson, Adviser; and Charley Roberts, Associate, Climate and Sustainability unpack the G7 leader’s summit, which will take place from Friday to Sunday in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

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A UK CBAM: A new route to net zero?

Sustainability

Lilah Howson-Smith
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When former Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced his full-throated support for a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) a few weeks ago, it was in many ways surprising that it had taken so long for a senior UK political figure to intervene in a debate that has been live in the EU for years.  

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Can the UK 'go its own way' on energy policy?

Energy & Commodities

Tom White
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Tom White, Director; Ermenegilda Boccabella, Energy and Climate Adviser and Lilah Howson-Smith, Senior Associate discuss the UK's emerging priorities on energy policy after leaving the EU.

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How can the UK get to net zero? In conversation with Lord Deben

Sustainability

Geoffrey Norris
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On an event for the Global Counsel network, Elizabeth Beall, Climate and Sustainability Practice Lead and Geoffrey Norris, Senior Adviser, are joined by Lord Deben, Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change and Former Secretary of State for the Environment.

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A place for “stranded” assets in the EU’s dual transition

Energy & Commodities

Giorgio Corbetta
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As the EU’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 is enshrined in law, a gap in the bloc’s policy agenda remains a realistic role for fossil-fuel related industries. Almost two decades on from the first use of the term “stranded investments” – investments, such as fossil fuel power generation or transmission, that have already been made but which, prior to the end of…

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Sustainability reporting and disclosure rules: clarity or confusion?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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A little under two years ago, I wrote about whether the introduction of a ‘green taxonomy’ in the EU would set the stage for a transformation of not just the financial system but how we define sustainability. Over these last two years, the EU has drafted an ever-growing list of regulations aimed at providing guidance for both investors and corporates on i) what can be…

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Postponing the challenge: why the net zero hole in the budget matters

Sustainability

Lilah Howson-Smith
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The UK Chancellor used last week’s budget to signal broad support for a few landmark net zero projects. However, the budget was notably thin on measures designed to mobilise both business and households to deliver this aim. This reflects in part the government’s competing priorities during the pandemic. But does it also suggest that net zero is not as deeply integrated…

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For Biden’s climate plans, now the hard work begins

Sustainability

Ben Bassett
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For those who questioned the sincerity of President Joe Biden’s rhetoric around addressing climate change, his first few weeks in office has likely cast those doubts aside. Biden has signed more executive orders (over 50 as of this writing) than any president before him. The most prominent ones include re-joining the Paris Agreement and revoking the permit for the…

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Covid-19 and the future of food systems

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Policy addressing health, climate, and poverty has often occurred in silos. Covid-19 has emphasised the interconnected nature of each of these areas, and particularly in how they relate to food systems. Global Counsel Chairman, Peter Mandelson recently discussed these issues with Special Envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organization, David Nabarro, where they looked…

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Three ESG policy trends to watch in 2021

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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2020 marked a step change in how both corporates and investors consider ESG, driven in large part by policy and regulatory changes. 2021 is set to be a year where ESG will start to have real bite. With greater regulatory and market scrutiny, increased reporting and thus greater data, the bar on what is considered as ‘good’ ESG performance will continue to rise. 

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Prospects of a transatlantic deal on energy and climate change

Energy & Commodities

Giorgio Corbetta
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Climate and energy policy will be a dominating feature of Biden’s cabinet. Decision-making will be more systematic but could also be complex given the high seniority of the (at least) seven cabinet members who will be involved in energy policy (all awaiting Senate confirmation except for John Kerry and Gina McCarthy). Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, as Energy…

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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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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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