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Ruth Dawes

Ruth Dawes is a partner in the national Environmental and Climate Change Group in Sydney. With over 20 years of experience and substantial expertise in all aspects of environment and planning law, Ruth has particular experience advising on major projects, sustainability and renewables. Ruth is passionate about helping businesses find new opportunities in transitioning to a net zero emissions future, while also being deeply involved in the required energy transition to renewables. Ruth is an experienced solicitor advocate who has represented clients in the Land and Environment Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Federal Court and High Court of Australia. Ruth also worked in London at the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development and the Carbon Capture and Storage Legal Programme within University College London.

Across sectors and industries, from start-ups to multinationals, companies everywhere are talking about their sustainability credentials — and in particular, their intention to reach net-zero. Businesses have recognized that a net-zero pledge can be a powerful public message, in the face of growing pressure to tackle the climate crisis and an expectation that business be part of the solution. But amidst all the rhetoric, how much progress are we really making? Are we on course to reach net-zero by 2050, or are businesses simply jumping on the bandwagon on the road to net nowhere? We surveyed 1,000 business leaders to find out more.

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.

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.

A range of climate-related policies are likely to be introduced in Australia as the country looks to strengthen its climate position through a new federal government.
A range of climate-related policies are likely to be introduced in Australia as the country looks to strengthen its climate position through a new federal government.

The Federal Court of Appeal has today (15 March 2022) overturned a ground-breaking decision in the environment and climate sector. The original decision held that the Commonwealth Minister for Environment owed a common law duty of care to the under 18 Australian population to take reasonable care to avoid causing personal injury or death resulting from Australian carbon dioxide emissions. Today, the Full Federal Court in Minister for the Environment v Sharma [2022] FCAFC 35 overturned that decision and unanimously denied that such a duty of care should be imposed on the Minister. This judgement will have consequences on negligence and liability claims in environment and climate law as well as intergenerational equity obligations.

As 2021 came to a close, we invited C-Suite leaders from across Asia Pacific to share their insights and concerns about engaging with long-term ESG targets. The key themes presented here are gathered from our closed-door roundtable, which was conducted in accordance with Chatham House rules. Participants identified five key facets of the challenges, opportunities and outlook facing C-suite leaders in the region as they strive to advance ESG strategy and drive meaningful action.