Introduction to Climate Law

Introduction to Climate Law

Matthew Gingell

The legal sector is currently at the forefront of the climate change battle. Join Matthew Gingell as he explores the legal drivers for sustainability and the critical timelines.

The legal sector is currently at the forefront of the climate change battle. Join Matthew Gingell as he explores the legal drivers for sustainability and the critical timelines.

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Introduction to Climate Law

8 mins 5 secs

Overview

Institutions must now consider a number of climate-related risks when making business decisions. There are four legal drivers for sustainability: proliferation of climate laws, climate litigation, power of ground level contracts and importance of legal risk governance. These four drivers are linked to two commercial themes: the business of law and clients.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the climate risks facing financial institutions

  • Identify the four legal drivers for sustainability

  • Outline the two legal commercial themes

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Summary
What are the climate risks facing financial institutions?
Institutions must now consider a number of climate-related risks when making business decisions, from physical risks to transition risks to biodiversity loss. Physical risks, such as severe weather events, are increasingly disrupting businesses and economies. Transition risks are equally significant, as policies and consumer preferences shift towards green alternatives. The financial sector must adapt their strategies and portfolios to navigate these changes successfully.

What are the four legal drivers for sustainability?

1. Proliferation of climate laws
There is an expansive network of over 2800 climate-related laws worldwide. These laws, ranging from emissions regulations to renewable energy incentives, are the bedrock of our global response to climate change.

2. Climate litigation
Since 2015, climate litigation cases have doubled, with over 2,000 live cases worldwide. These cases are instrumental in enforcing climate laws and holding businesses and governments accountable.

3. Power of ground level contracts
There are over 140 different types of climate contract clauses today. These clauses integrate sustainability into the core of business dealings, influencing corporate behaviour and driving change.

4. Importance of legal risk governance
This assesses and manages the legal risks associated with climate change. Companies must navigate a complex landscape of regulations and potential liabilities, including the potential for greenwashing.

What are the two commercial themes?

1. Business of law
Law firms and legal departments must adapt to the evolving landscape of climate law. This adaptation is an opportunity for innovation and leadership in the business community.

2. Clients
Corporate and individual clients increasingly demand legal services that are aligned with sustainability goals. They seek legal partners who can navigate the complex web of climate laws and litigation.

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Matthew Gingell

Matthew Gingell

Matt Gingell is the General Counsel of The Oxygen House Group, a global investment firm focused on making the world better. He is an in-house solicitor and frequently speaks on ESG and sustainability matters. Mathew founded The Chancery Lane Project, a global network of lawyers and business leaders using climate contracting for decarbonisation. He authored the climate contracts doctrine, which focuses on ground-level commercial contracts creating global environmental outcomes. He has been embedding ESG objectives into investments since 2014 and is an ESG Advisor to the QantX fund. He is also an External Associate of Exeter University's Centre for Environmental Law and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

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