Environmental complaints: testing new legal routes to effect change

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Across the world, climate change litigation is increasingly seen as an important measure by which to try to effect meaningful local or international action and change of policy. In July 2023, a global study found that climate change cases had more than doubled since 2017 and included thousands of actions filed before international and regional […]

Peters & Peters

Time to take out the trash: Environment Agency launches new Economic Crime Unit

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The Environment Agency has launched a new Economic Crime Unit (ECU) to tackle serious financial offences in the waste sector. The launch comes after the Environment Agency’s National Waste Crime Survey 2023, which found that nearly one-fifth of all the waste produced in England was perceived to be illegally managed. Coupled with this, industry research […]

Dan Hyde

When is ‘green’ a red flag? Identifying eco fraud and supply chain risks

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In March, the UK government released its Green Finance Strategy, setting out plans to attract investment to help achieve the country’s net zero ambitions. Then, a month later, the National Fraud Strategy came out, revealing that fraud is “by far” the UK’s most common crime, representing 40% of offences in England and Wales. However, no […]

Joseph Duggin

Activist investors and NGOs leaving regulators in their wake

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On May 12, ClientEarth, the environmental law charity, saw its claim against the directors of Shell plc dismissed by the UK High Court. The claim has been touted as a “world-first lawsuit”: a derivative action against directors of a listed company for failing to manage climate-change risks that was backed by institutional investors. The claim […]

BNP Paribas climate case could prompt wider litigation against banking sector

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In February, three French NGOs, Friends of the Earth France, Notre Affaire à Tous and Oxfam France, launched proceedings in France against BNP Paribas, Europe’s largest bank, in connection with its financing of fossil fuel polluters and thus failing to comply with its obligations under the French corporate duty of vigilance law, which came into […]

ESG: a load of old greenwash?

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Transition to net zero in the UK and in many other jurisdictions relies heavily upon consumer and investor pressure, combined with environmental social governance (ESG) disclosure requirements. While there are some sectors of the economy which are well placed to deliver in this regard, the development sector being one, there is a Wild West elsewhere, […]

“Greenwashing” – CMA investigations are not going away

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With more businesses using sustainability as a marketing tool, in a bid to attract environmentally aware consumers or to secure investment in environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related funds, it was only a matter of time before “green” or “eco-friendly” claims would attract the regulators’ attention. In July 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) […]

Maria Cronin

Climate campaigners sue BNP Paribas over fossil fuel finance

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Three French NGOs – Oxfam France, Friends of the Earth France and Notre Affaire à Tous – are bringing proceedings in France against BNP Parisbas, one of Europe’s largest financial institutions, in connection with its financing of fossil fuel polluters. The trio is arguing that the bank is failing to comply with its obligations under […]