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Following the European Commission review of the Waste Shipments Regulation ((EC) No 1013/2006) (WSR) (see our earlier post) the Commission has proposed tougher rules on waste exports, a more efficient system for the circulation of waste as a resource and better addressing the problem of illegal waste shipments.

Under the revised proposal,

In March 2021, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (“OPSS”) published a call for evidence seeking views on possible changes to the UK product safety regime post-Brexit, including to address new methods of manufacture and distribution, new products and technologies such as artificial intelligence, and environmental considerations. Following the deadline to respond to the

Prior to COP26, we published an article that identified several issues being discussed at COP26 that could be of critical importance to business.

During COP26, we followed the developments of these issues in a special Viewpoints series.

And now that COP26 is concluded, people are asking: What impact did it have? Where does the world stand on these issues?

You probably read the mixed reviews with regard to success of this COP. The New York Times reported Nov. 13 within minutes of the banging of the final gavel: “Global negotiators in Glasgow agreed to do more to fight climate change and aid vulnerable nations, but left crucial questions unresolved.”

What was resolved? For those of us who have studied agreements coming out of the COPs, this agreement, called the Glasgow Climate Pact is notably weak. The parties could only agree to language that “notes” certain issues or “urges” certain actions, as opposed to strong language that “decides” any points or “commits” parties to any defined metric.

The Pact does “reaffirm” the Paris Agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels but that will require all nations to slash their carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half this coming decade to hold warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

However, the Pact merely “emphasizes” the urgent need for parties (as opposed to “the parties agree to…”) to increase their efforts collectively to reduce emissions through accelerated action and implementation of domestic mitigation measures in accordance with Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement and merely “urges” parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to do so as soon as possible in advance of the next session of the Conference of the Parties (as opposed to “the Parties that have not yet communicated new or updated nationally determined contributions agree to submit by [insert date]”).

It also “urges” wealthy nations (as opposed to “wealthy nations agree…”) to “at least double” funding by 2025 to protect the most vulnerable nations from the hazards of a hotter planet. And it explicitly mentions the need to curb fossil fuel usage, the first time a global climate agreement has done so.

Continue Reading Post-COP26: A follow-up briefing on key business issues

Last month, the Environmental Audit Committee (‘EAC’) launched an inquiry into a potential future carbon border adjustment mechanism (‘CBAM’) for the UK. The objective of introducing a CBAM would primarily be to address the risk of carbon leakage in the UK industrial sectors caught by the nascent UK Emissions Trading Scheme (‘UK ETS’), i.e. switching

On 23 September, the European Commission took a step towards consumers’ convenience and minimising the environmental footprint associated with the production and disposal of chargers. A proposal to amend the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/54/EU (RED) aims to make a single charger for mobile devices mandatory. Although the number of mobile phone chargers had

Last month, the European Commission published two new proposals for EU regulations to encourage the use of sustainable fuels in aviation and shipping – namely the ReFuelEU Aviation and FuelEU Maritime initiatives, respectively. Both proposals are subject to public feedback until 5 October.
Continue Reading European Commission publishes new initiatives concerning sustainable transportation

The first installment of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022, was released on August 9, 2021.  As it has in the run up to previous important Conferences of the Parties (COPs) under the UNFCCC, the IPCC released an updated report in the middle