ESG Guidepost | Issue 6

Katten ESG Guidepost is a monthly publication highlighting the latest news, legal and regulatory developments involving environmental, social and governance matters.

To read more issues of Katten ESG Guidepost, please click here.

California Passes Two Climate Disclosure Laws That Will Require Unique, Public Reporting of Carbon Emissions and Climate Risk

By Chris Cole, Farzad Damania, Alexa Rollins

California's Legislature has passed two new climate disclosure bills, SB 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (CCDAA), and SB 261, the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act (CRFRA), which together will require a wide array of entities doing business in the state to calculate and disclose their carbon footprint and climate risk. These new legal requirements, which will go into effect beginning in 2025 if not challenged successfully in court, will add to and, in some ways surpass, a growing array of disclosure requirements and could, as we have seen many times, expose entities to a new set of consumer class action risks. Read Katten's advisory.

Health Equity: An Important Pillar of ESG

By Johnjerica Hodge, India Williams, Arron Pak

The federal government has placed a renewed emphasis on addressing challenges and barriers to equity, including health equity. However, health equity is sometimes forgotten in public discourse on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues despite its overlap with key ESG-related initiatives. Read about the federal push for health equity and how it relates to the CMS Framework.

Greenwashing? Try 'Greenhushing' – A Look at Recent Developments in Fashion Sustainability Claims

By Chris Cole

The fashion industry continues to be a target of activist plaintiffs who allege greenwashing, or in other words, false advertising regarding environmental and/or social aspects of clothing manufacturing and sales. While fashion industry trade groups and marketers continue to pursue improvements in the social and environmental footprints of clothing, some have begun to avoid public mention of these considerations in their marketing, in a phenomenon known as "greenhushing." Read about recent litigation in three main ESG subject matter areas: recycling, carbon claims and sustainability claims.

California Lawsuit Launches Massive Climate Change Lawsuit Against Major Oil Producers and Their Trade Association

By Chris Cole

On September 15, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the filing of a 135-page complaint against major oil producers and their main trade association. The suit alleges generally that the defendants knew about the dangers of climate change as early as the 1950s but failed to disclose the danger while continuing to promote fossil fuel sales and sponsor opposition research and PR. Read about the climate change and false advertising issues in this case.

Is ESG Waning Globally for the Asset Management Industry?

By Neil Robson

Published in the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), the article looks at the different approaches to ESG matters between the United States and Europe, including recent developments in the asset management industry that indicate such matters "were being put on the back burner in terms of priorities," as major money managers have chosen to support very small percentages of shareholder resolutions related to ESG. Read about Neil's article.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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