On 30 March, the UK Government released a package of policy plans related to decarbonization and energy initiatives it has termed “Powering Up Britain”. Originally promoted as “green day” in Whitehall, many saw the release as the Government’s potential unveiling of a new, more detailed plan for achieving net zero emissions, as well as the UK’s response to substantial state subsidy programs announced by the US and EU. More recently, the Government sought to temper those expectations, with the release being rebranded “Energy Security Day”.
In November 2022 the UK Government announced a new, temporary 45% levy on “exceptional” receipts generated from the production of wholesale electricity and published a “technical note” on the operation of the levy. Despite heavy criticism of the move by many clean energy market participants, on 20 December 2022 the UK Government confirmed its intention to press ahead with the EGL by publishing a supplementary technical note and draft legislation outlining the details of how the new tax would operate. The EGL has been introduced from 1 January 2023 and will have an impact on existing and potential investors in the UK clean energy market.
Baker McKenzie and Trench Rossi Watanabe* were again on the ground at this years’ COP27 conference held in Sharm-el-Sheik. The team led a three-part webinar series focused on developments and impact of this year’s COP on emerging markets and key takeaways following the event, which they note had a strong focus on implementation.
COP27 held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt was anticipated by many as an “Implementation COP” to build on the agreements reached at COP26 in Glasgow. In this 45-minute webinar, we will discuss the key outcomes from COP27 and what we expect the key trends and developments to be in 2023 and beyond.
Multinational groups are increasingly likely to use voluntary carbon credits as part of their efforts to decarbonize their businesses and achieve their climate goals. There are a number of tax complexities and risks depending on how voluntary carbon credits are going to be acquired and used by companies and further guidance from HMRC would be welcomed, particularly as the market grows and becomes more regulated. Where multinational groups are taking a strategic approach to their offset activity, tax functions should play an active role in design and implementing structured arrangements.
Baker McKenzie, Trench Rossi Watanabe*, ICC UK and ICC Brasil present “COP Casts”, a series of interviews exploring climate change issues with experts representing a wide range of industries. Discussions on opportunities, complexities and challenges related to carbon markets in particular will introduce our audience to some of the topics that will be centre-stage at the upcoming 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022.
*Trench Rossi Watanabe and Baker McKenzie have executed a strategic cooperation agreement for consulting on foreign law.
Ahead of our participation in COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, in November, we will explore in this webinar how the new mechanisms agreed under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement can play a key role in NDC implementation. Our focus will be on both the opportunities these mechanisms provide and the near-term challenges to accessing these.
TMT companies are often the first to develop innovative solutions and to face increasingly sophisticated regulation of key technologies they develop. As such, they have a unique opportunity to shape many areas including data strategies aligned to I&D, the future of remote work, and due diligence requirements for supply chains. A focus on data ethics underscores companies’ management of tangled data regulations and obligations as stewards of data. Additionally, TMT companies will also continue to develop and support innovative technologies to access and store renewable energy.
Voluntary carbon credit markets are rapidly expanding with significant increases in both trade volumes and investors looking for emission reduction/sequestration projects. Key to investment decisions are assumptions on the ability to use GHG reductions/sequestration achieved in a host country as the basis for issuing voluntary carbon credits that can be traded internationally. Please join us on 27 July for a 45 minute webinar in which Baker McKenzie will provide an overview of these issues and some of the themes that can be drawn from recent developments in Asia and Africa.
On 7 April 2022 the UK published its Energy Security Strategy. The key aim of the strategy is for the UK to achieve long-term independence from foreign energy sources and decarbonise the nation’s power supply. The strategy echoes the communication released on 8 March 2022 by the European Commission in relation to the Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
The UK’s Energy Security Strategy reinforces the Government’s commitment to decarbonisation, with an ambitious new target for offshore wind by 2030 and a doubling of the previous target for hydrogen production in the same time frame.