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ESG Legal Outlook 2021

If 2020 was marked by Covid-19, an uptick in geopolitical tensions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and an extraordinarily eventful US election, 2021 is likely to be about the roll out of Covid vaccines, programmes for economic recovery that focus on “building back better” and the continued focus on long-term sustainable growth.

In this publication we explore some of the key global ESG themes that will shape the legal outlook for businesses in 2021 and the trends we see in different countries around the world.

Visit our dedicated ESG page to find out more about our ESG team and explore our ESG focused thought leadership.


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ESG Legal Outlook 2021


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Global ESG legal themes for 2021

Climate change will remain high on the investor and regulatory agenda

The Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened everyone’s perception of risk, leading some to question whether the health crisis is just a “dress rehearsal” for the climate crisis.

2020 saw a spate of high-profile climate pledges – from governments, banks, asset managers, pension schemes and corporates alike. The emphasis in 2021 will be on turning these announcements into credible action plans. Those who don’t, run the risk of being accused of greenwashing.

Moving towards mandatory TCFD-aligned climate disclosure

Investors and other stakeholders globally continue to press for more and better ESG data that is relevant, reliable and comparable. This in turn is leading to the roll out of mandatory climate-related disclosure regimes in some jurisdictions. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has become the global gold standard for climate disclosures.

Getting closer to a single global ESG reporting standard

Pressure is mounting to agree on a single global ESG reporting methodology. Although the TCFD is now widely accepted as the global gold standard for climate-related disclosures, the same cannot be said for the rest of the ESG “alphabet soup” – where there is a plethora of ESG reporting frameworks, standards and metrics.

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ESG Newsletter

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In Conversation with the ESG Team

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