News & Insights - ESG
On 6 July 2021 the European Commission adopted various measures relating to sustainable finance, including a new Sustainable Finance Strategy. These initiatives included a Delegated Act on the information to be disclosed by companies about their sustainable activities, supplementing Article 8 of the EU Taxonomy.
Stakeholders in the Irish offshore renewable energy sector received a boost late last week with the long-awaited publication of Ireland’s proposed new regulatory regime for offshore development (the ‘Maritime Area Planning Bill’) . We have reviewed the plans here are our views on the key points relevant to offshore renewable energy and infrastructure developments.
We have recently written on various topics relating to sustainable finance, including social loan principles, greenwashing and the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the related screening criteria. Another important development took place when on 21 April 2021 the EC published a communication entitled "Directing Finance Towards the European Green Deal".
The much-anticipated 2021 edition of the Green Bond Principles (“GBP”) has now been released by the International Capital Market Association (“ICMA”). ICMA’s Principles, made up of the GBP, the Social Bond Principles (“SBP”), the Sustainability Bond Guidelines (“SBG”) and the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles (“SLBP”) are a collection of voluntary frameworks that promote the role which global debt capital markets can play in financing progress towards environmental and social sustainability (collectively, the “Principles”).
Matheson, Ireland’s largest law firm, has launched it's Impactful Business Programme (IBP), an initiative which brings together, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental Sustainability and Arts activities into one dedicated programme.
ESG considerations are quickly becoming a main topic of discussion in the market and, in many instances, this is being driven by investor demand. This article will discuss the emerging trend of ESG-focused CLOs and some of the opportunities and challenges that may face market participants as they seek to bring their own ESG CLOs to the market.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Mr. Eamon Ryan TD, was the keynote speaker at Matheson’s ESG Summit, Sustainable ESG: Charting the Road Ahead this week.
The International Capital Market Association’s Asset Management and Investors Council (“AMIC”) published a statement in March 2021 highlighting the “paucity of relevant and standardised ESG information” for investors in asset-backed securities (“ABS”).
In this briefing note we will look at how derivatives can be used to promote ESG objectives – and, conversely, how this new focus on ESG concerns might impact on the use and regulation of derivatives.
We have recently written on various topics relating to sustainable finance, including social loan principles, greenwashing and the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the related screening criteria. Another important development took place when on 21 April 2021 the EC published a communication "Directing Finance Towards the European Green Deal".
Another important step in the development of social financing occurred on 13 April 2021 when the Loan Market Association, the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association together published the Social Loan Principles, voluntary recommended guidelines for social loans.
The technical screening criteria will set out what it means for economic activities to be substantially contributing to the environmental objective in question and noting what constitutes causing significant harm to the other objectives.
Matheson Chairperson, Tara Doyle, was a speaker at today’s National Diversity and Inclusion Conference.
Sustainability linked loans are loans which provide an incentive to borrowers if they achieve certain agreed sustainability linked performance objectives. We have seen a significant increase in green and sustainability linked loans and would expect this trend to continue.
Major investments are on the horizon, but for the first time, the main focus is on projects which help us to create a sustainable economy.
Corporate power purchase agreements (Corporate PPAs) are agreements under which businesses purchase electricity directly from generators. Corporate PPAs differ from traditional PPAs between utilities / licensed suppliers and generators
This article explores ESG in the context of the bond market and in particular focuses on the legislative and non- legislative frameworks around ESG Bonds
Importance of green and environmentally responsible investing is likely to grow in the coming years. Tara Doyle contributes her thoughts on the market trend to the Irish Times.
Matheson has become a signatory to the Law Society of Ireland’s Professional Wellbeing Charter. Open to solicitor firms, in-house solicitors and public sector solicitors, signatories to the Law Society of Ireland’s Professional Wellbeing Charter are committed to improving leadership and championing behaviours, skills and practices which promote and enable professional wellbeing in the workplace.
2020 saw the climate crisis and sustainability enter the mainstream globally, with governments and regulators prioritising sustainability in their agendas.
This note focuses on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, known as the SFDR or the Disclosure Regulation, and in particular the requirements relating to the principal adverse impact statement (“PAIS”).
This note focuses on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, known as the SFDR or the Disclosure Regulation, and in particular the requirements for investment funds that fall within the scope of Article 8 of the Disclosure Regulation, known as “Light Green” funds.
This note focuses on the elements of the Action Plan related to amendments to measures adopted under the UCITS Directive and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) (known as “level 2” measures) relating to the integration of sustainability factors.
This note focuses on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, known as the SFDR or the Disclosure Regulation, and in particular the requirements for investment funds that fall within the scope of Article 9 of the Disclosure Regulation, known as “Dark Green” funds.
In an important development for Irish companies, the Government today confirmed that the “interim period” under the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 (the “Act”) will be extended until 9 June 2021.
Matheson today joined 44 other Irish law firms alongside a number of other members of the Irish legal profession as a founding signatory to Pro Bono Pledge Ireland, a new initiative which calls on legal professionals to commit to promoting access to justice by providing free legal assistance to those in need.
Matheson recently acted as Irish legal counsel to project sponsors Hanwha Energy Corporation and Lumcloon Energy on their design, permitting, development and financing of two 100MW Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”) in Lumcloon and Shannonbridge in County Offaly. These BESS projects (at 200MW in total) are the largest of their kind in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe.
On 4 November 2020, the Central Bank of Ireland (“Central Bank”) advised Irish Funds that it will put in place a fast-track process to address the volume of prospectus updates due to be filed under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (“SFDR”) by 10 March 2021.
This month, Darren Maher, Partner and Head of the Financial Institutions Group at Matheson and Member of Matheson’s D&I Steering Committee, shared his thoughts on D&I at Matheson with Insurance Ireland for its D&I newsletter.
Matheson is pleased to have advised the joint lead managers and co-manager on the issuance of €1 billion in green bonds by AIB Group plc (“AIB”) on 30 September 2020.
Despite disruption to work programmes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU institutions are pressing ahead with sustainable finance initiatives as a priority and there has been a number of significant developments in the past quarter.
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”) recently published guidance regarding the duties of directors of Irish companies in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s been an increasing buzz around green hydrogen in Europe recently. It’s seen as an exciting opportunity for decarbonisation because there are so many potential applications for it in addition to generating renewable electricity.
Matheson announced today that it has become a signatory to the Mindful Business Charter, a set of best-practice principles to support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
The CEP contains eight European legislative acts, including the regulation on the internal market for electricity EU 2019/943 (recast) (the “Regulation”). The Regulation forms a part of the CEP that seeks to establish a modern design for the EU electricity market, one which is “more flexible, more market-oriented and better placed to integrate a greater share of renewables”.
On Monday (6 January 2020), the Government published the Draft General Scheme of the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the “General Scheme”), which contains the proposed heads of amendment to the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 (the “Principal Act”).
New Strategy. The board of the European Investment Bank (“EIB”) has approved a new strategy for climate action and environmental sustainability. This is the culmination of a review process which involved industry, institutions, civil society, and the public.
At the end of August we wrote about European initiatives for green or sustainable financing. On 25 September 2019 the Council of the EU announced that it has agreed its position on a proposed regulation (the “Sustainable Investment Regulation” or “SIR”) on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment. This represents a significant step towards a legally-binding standard for sustainable finance.
Matheson today hosted the Pathways to Belonging Conference in association with Trinity College Dublin. The conference featured insights from senior leaders from national and international businesses and organisations. The conference, which took place at Regent House, Trinity College focused on how building an inclusive workplace that attracts talent, drives innovation, and supports employees to bring their whole selves to work is a priority for many businesses.
EU Directive and Guidelines. On 18 June 2019 the European Commission published a series of guidelines and reports as part of its action plan on sustainable finance (the “Action Plan”), noting that the Commission has proposed a target of 25% of EU expenditure contributing to climate objectives between 2017-2021.
Matheson has today announced an Agile Working Programme designed to complement excellence and responsiveness in client services while at the same time creating opportunities for enhanced work-life blend at the firm. Matheson Agile has been developed following significant research, consultation and piloting across the business. It focuses on adapting to the changing needs of the firm’s clients, lawyers and business professionals.
Nicola Dunleavy and Maria Kennedy answer your questions on environmental law in Ireland, and what it means for international companies doing business in this sector in Ireland.