ADVANT FAQs on Climate Change Litigation
Companies are under increasing social, regulatory and economic pressure in almost all sectors to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG emissions”) and to think about their contribution to climate protection. Pars pro toto from a legal point of view is the classification of economic activities as environmentally sustainable or non-sustainable according to the EU Taxonomy Regulation as well as upcoming detailed reporting obligations pursuant to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”). After its implementation into national law, particularly large limited-liability companies will be obliged to describe in their annual pursuant to the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), inter alia:
- Their plans to ensure that their business model and strategy are compatible with the transition to a sustainable economy and with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C in line with the Paris Agreement and the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and, where relevant, the exposure of the undertaking to coal-, oil-, and gas-related activities as well as
- their time-bound targets related to sustainability matters, including, where appropriate, absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction targets at least for 2030 and 2050, and the progress made towards achieving those targets.
Independent of already existing, if less detailed, reporting obligations of large capital-market-oriented companies and possible furhter-reaching obligations in the future (see for example Art. 15, 25 of the draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (“CSDDD”) proposed by the EU Commission in February 2’22), many companies have already adopted plans to reduce their GHG emissions and report on such plans in more or less detail.