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

Forthcoming events

Building resilience in the life sciences supply chain

Details:

GC expert panel with Daniel Capparelli, Practice Lead, Trade; Tom Smith, Practice Lead, Health and Elly Darkin, Associate, to discuss key challenges facing the life sciences supply chain, and how resilient has it proven so far.

Register

Insights

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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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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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