Announcing the Climate Change Law and Governance Conference

How do businesses and their professional advisers connect the dots between climate science, public policy, climate risk governance, and an understanding of their reporting and legal obligations?

To assist you, Legalwise Seminars is convening its first ever Climate Change Law and Governance: Think Global Act Local on 17 November 2021 with an extraordinary panel of experts to step you through the narrative that is transforming legal obligations and litigation, insurance, directors’ duties, investment, financial and non-financial reporting, and climate geopolitics.

Climate Litigation

With more than 1,000 cases already filed in the US, Europe/UK and Australia, climate change has become the new litigation catalyst within existing legal systems. It has moved into the mainstream.

In late August a landmark consumer law action was filed in the Federal Court against the oil and gas company Santos, alleging misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to its clean energy and net zero emissions targets.

Governance & Greenwashing

The AICD has confirmed its commitment to net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 with the recent launch of its Climate Governance Initiative.

“Greenwashing” in ESG reports has been on the radar of institutional investors for a while, and was referenced in July by ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour as an area of focus for the regulator. Businesses seek to promote their “green” credentials in a range of industries that goes well beyond the traditional energy and resources sectors. Even the fashion industry is jumping on board with advocacy of sustainable clothing that does not become landfill. Care needs to be taken not to embellish environmental credentials to investors focused on the transition to net zero.

Climate Change Risks & Legal Obligations for Companies & Directors

In April this year Noel Hutley SC and Sebastian Hartford-Davis, two barristers who are presenting at the Legalwise Conference, identified “greenwashing” as a likely legal problem for companies and directors. It’s not the law that has changed. Engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, as a basis for litigation under the consumer law, has been around for a long time. So have the duties of directors to act in the best interests of the company with the obligation to exercise due care and diligence – the standard of care being that of a reasonable not an average director. What’s changing is climate as a litigation catalyst.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear directly from Noel Hutley SC and Sebastian Hartford-Davis and experienced company directors about what “greenwashing” means for all businesses. Other sessions step you through how insurance is identifying and pricing climate risk, the key elements of sustainable finance and reporting, what is the lawyers checklist and importantly a deep dive into the major cases here in Australia and internationally.

Australia’s Landmark Climate Change Law and Governance Conference

Legalwise has indeed joined the dots between public policy, science and the legal system in a landmark Conference for businesses and their advisers.

For details of the full program click here: Climate Change Law and Governance: Think Global Act Local

Heather Ruddock has more than 30 years of experience engaging with regulators, industry bodies and professional advisers. She has assisted lawyers and non-lawyers with their governance, risk and compliance frameworks and spent many years in strategic market engagement for a global knowledge and technology business servicing lawyers, corporations and accountants. In that role she developed an Australia wide network of corporate tax and finance professionals.

For Legalwise, Heather is assisting with programs in climate change, financial services, corporate governance, and innovation and technology. She is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has Degrees in Arts and Law and early in her career tutored in Constitutional Law at Macquarie University.