The guiding principles are similar to related proposals from other banking regulators, but will require further clarification through the comment process.

By Nicola Higgs, Betty M. Huber, Arthur S. Long, Pia Naib, Anne Mainwaring, and Deric Behar

On December 2, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) published proposed Principles for Climate-Related Financial Risk Management for Large Financial Institutions (the Proposal). The Proposal urges large financial institutions[1] to consider how best to identify, measure, monitor, and control the various risks associated with climate change over a variety of time horizons. It also specifies that large financial institutions should monitor microprudential risks, including credit, market, liquidity, operational, and legal and compliance risks, as well as other financial and nonfinancial risks that could arise from climate change.

The Proposal aims to support financial institution boards of directors and management in incorporating mitigation of climate-related financial risks into their broader risk management frameworks, consistent with safe and sound practices and the Federal Reserve’s rules and guidance on sound governance.

Large financial institutions are defined as those with over $100 billion in assets that are subject to Federal Reserve supervision, including the US operations of non-US banking organizations. The Federal Reserve’s guidance is founded on the premise that climate change poses an emerging risk to the safety and soundness of financial institutions and the financial stability of the United States.

This article follows up on two prior articles published by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP attorneys focusing on the Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) funding of state orphaned well programs[1] and the Biden Administration’s promise of a greater emphasis on consulting with indigenous people and acknowledging their communities’ cultures, customs, sacred sites, and historical knowledge in the contexts of environmental planning, sustainability, and justice, and in ongoing and forthcoming federal decision making and regulatory rulemaking.[2]

On November 25, 2022, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) published a report on its analysis of ESG practice disclosure in Hong Kong (the Report). The Report sets out the SEHK’s findings of their review of compliance by Hong Kong issuers of the new ESG requirements implemented in July 2020, which focused on board governance, climate change, and other ESG issues (2020 Enhancements). We reported here on the related amendments to the SEHK’s Corporate Governance Code and the Listing Rules addressing the link between ESG and good corporate governance, ESG reporting and gender diversity.

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are only the most recent events that have put enormous strain on clean energy supply chains around the world. This has led to escalating prices of oil and gas, and shortages of the minerals necessary for manufacturing in the clean energy technology sectors.

On November 14, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require Federal contractors that receive annual Federal contract obligations over a specified amount to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions[1] and climate-related financial risk, and set science-based targets to reduce GHG emissions.[2] This proposed rule implements section 5(b) of Executive Order 14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk, which we previously wrote about here. The Government will consider comments from interested parties that are submitted by January 13, 2023, after which a final rule will be formulated.

By Adam R. YoungA. Scott Hecker, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency of the Department of Transportation (DOT), today published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (FMCSA–2022–0028), that would maintain non-emergency hours of service requirements during labor strikes and other economic emergencies.

The dust has settled on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) first west coast auction for federal offshore wind lease areas. The California auction for the Morro Bay and Humboldt Call Areas brought an aggregate $757,100,000 to federal coffers at a $2,028 per acre value (with variances between the areas discussed below). This per acre value is well below the results of the other BOEM auctions of 2022, New York Bight (approximately $9,000 per acre, the highwater mark in the U.S.) and Carolina Long Bay (approximately $2,800 per acre). The final figure places the final result firmly within, but on the low end of, BOEM’s pre-auction estimate of $400M – $1.6B.

H.R. 263: Big Cat Public Safety Act was passed Congress on December 6, 2022 — next stop — the President.

If enacted, the amendments to the Lacey Act would revise restrictions on the possession and exhibition of big cats, including to restrict direct contact between the public and big cats.

Specifically, USDA licensed exhibitors (“Exhibitors”)

On November 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) issued the pre-publication version of supplemental proposed rulemaking for reduction of methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector. The original proposed rule, published on November 15, 2021, sought to strengthen methane standards for new sources (New Source Performance Standards or NSPS), establish nationwide emission guidelines (EG) for regulation of existing sources, and develop new standards for unregulated sources. US EPA ultimately received more than 470,000 public comments. The rules, once finalized, will be included in 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOOb (NSPS) and Subpart OOOOc (EG).

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” – Editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church first appearing in New York newspaper The Sun on September 21, 1897
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, it is entirely fitting that some cynical and unbelieving jurisdictions be gifted with a published judicial reminder that CEQA really does exist – and that its required procedures must be scrupulously followed.  In an opinion filed November 18, and later ordered published on December 5, 2002, the First District Court of Appeal (Div. 4) bestowed such a gift upon the City and County of San Francisco (“City”), although the “jury is out” on whether the latter lead agency will receive it in the proper spirit or view it as humbug and the proverbial lump of coal.  Saint Ignatius Neighborhood Association v. City and County of San Francisco (2022) ___ Cal.App.5th ___.