2021 Marked by SEC Focus on Climate-related Disclosures

With the third quarter coming to a close and year-end reporting just around the corner, public companies should be giving careful thought to the evolving landscape for climate-related disclosures. While it did not promulgate any new rules in 2021 regarding these disclosures, the SEC has been actively commenting on climate change disclosures, and new rules are almost certainly on the way.

Since 2010, the SEC has made clear that its existing disclosure regime requires issuers to assess and,… More

New CBP Withhold Release Order Again Targets Forced Labor in the Seafood Industry

On August 4, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) released a Withhold Release Order (“WRO”) on tuna and other seafood harvested by the Hangton No. 112, a Fijian flagged and owned longliner fishing vessel. According to CBP, information discovered during its investigation reasonably indicated that such seafood was harvested with forced labor. As a result of this WRO, all tuna and other seafood sourced from the Hangton No. 112 fishing vessel will be blocked from entry into the U.S.… More

Congress A Step Closer to Making Corporate ESG Disclosure Mandatory

On June 16, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would impose new ESG due diligence and disclosure requirements on publicly traded companies.  H.R. 1187 – the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2021 – would require publicly traded companies to disclose their commitments to ensuring that environmental, social (human rights), and good governance standards (ESG) are reflected in their operations, activities, and supply chains.

The Legislation’s Impact on ESG Due Diligence and Disclosure

Specifically,… More

President Biden’s “Climate-Related Financial Risk” Executive Order Pushes Forward on the Administration’s ESG Commitments

On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to address predicted financial instability in the federal government as a result of climate change. This Executive Order showcases a dramatic change in how the Biden Administration’s stance towards climate-finance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-based investments will differ from the previous administration.

The Executive Order, titled “Climate-Related Financial Risk” seeks to “bolster the resilience of our rural and urban communities,… More

Watch Now: ESG – What You Need to Know About the Rapidly Evolving Disclosure Landscape

As anticipated, the pace of change around the Climate and broader ESG landscape is accelerating rapidly. In this timely webinar, we discussed:

  • The multiple market developments leading towards a rationalized corporate reporting system
  • The role of the board and governance around the ESG agenda
  • Practical steps to navigate the changing ESG landscape

Speakers:

New E.U. Measure on Environmental and Human Rights Due Diligence Has Far-Reaching Implications for Companies Operating in Europe and Beyond

On March 10, 2021, the European Parliament approved a legislative measure by an overwhelming 504-79 majority that paves the way for a landmark set of regulations setting a corporate duty of care regarding environmental protection and sustainability, internationally recognized human rights principles, and good governance practices – collectively referred to as ESG standards.  Although the Parliament’s measure is not legally binding, it is expected that the European Commission will adopt regulations in general accordance with Parliament’s legislative measure by the end of the year.… More

Data Privacy Day Reflections – Compliance, Governance, Ethics (and AI)

Cross-posted from Security, Privacy & the Law

January 28 is Data Privacy Day, and on this 14th annual Data Privacy Day, I find myself reflecting on the question of data ethics.

Far from being an academic concept, “data ethics” presents a model for data management with real practical implications for organizations.  (I should note that I am focused here on personal data.)  To understand what the concept might entail,… More

Watch Now: Beyond Compliance: Privacy, Artificial Intelligence, and the Ethical Implications for Businesses

Rapidly-shifting regulatory requirements affecting data privacy often leave businesses struggling not only to keep up with immediate compliance needs, but also wondering how they can “future proof” their businesses to account for increasingly robust laws. And as the technology around artificial intelligence increases in sophistication and ubiquity, lawmakers and consumers are taking notice and action. How should businesses be thinking about these changes beyond mere compliance? What are the ethical implications around data use affecting how individuals and regulators are thinking about data use?… More

New U.S. Policy, Same Human Rights Expectations: Companies Sourcing from the Western Sahara Are Still Obligated to Respect International Law

On December 10, 2020, President Trump formally announced that the Government of Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco will normalize their bilateral relationship, marking the fourth Arab country that recognizes Israel as a result of the Abraham Accords. Over the coming months, the new agreement will allow the two countries to resume full diplomatic relations, increase cooperation on security and economic matters, and open up regular flights between Morocco and Israel.… More

SEC Issues Controversial New Rule on Payment Transparency in the Natural Resource Sector

On December 16, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new regulation that revises and reinstitutes a previously-repealed SEC regulation to implement Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The new rule is the culmination (for now) of a long process to implement the ten-year old Section 1504, which Congress included in Dodd-Frank with the intent of making payments to foreign governments by oil, gas, and mining companies more transparent.… More