Followers of the financial press will not have failed to note the prominence of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) developments in recent years, whether through regulatory proposals, statements from asset managers concerning ESG, or industry/sector changes. As such, much has been written about the movement away from a shareholder economy toward a stakeholder economy, and the need to “build back better” as part of COVID-19 economic renewal packages.
However, to date, less has been written about the rise in global ESG litigation matters. A wealth of literature analyzes climate change litigation, but ESG matters address a much broader range of issues than just climate change, including:
..Environmental issues such as biodiversity degradation and long-term availability of resources (including water)
..Social issues such as supply-chain issues (including modern slavery and working conditions at supplier locations) and diversity in the workplace
..Governance issues such as corporate reporting and audit and assurance.
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