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Against a backdrop of economic stagnation and geopolitical conflict, businesses are preparing for a challenging year. Global disputes will continue at pace, according to insights from more than 600 senior lawyers at large corporations, with ESG and employment risks the greatest areas of concern. Our seventh annual report provides detailed analysis of disputes trends, as well as sectoral and region-specific developments, to prepare your organization for The Year Ahead.

The Doing Business in the Philippines handbook aims to equip both local and foreign entrepreneurs with a practical guide to navigating the ever-evolving business landscape in the Philippines. It provides information on the requirements needed when setting up and operating a business in the Philippines, including incentives under special registrations, taxation, employment, IP, dispute resolution, and industry-specific regulations.

On 21 December 2023, the Brazilian House of Representatives approved the new text of Bill 2.148/15, which aims to create the Brazilian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System, i.e., the regulated carbon market in Brazil. The text will still be sent to the Brazilian Federal Senate and could return to the House of Representatives if further changes are made.

The transition to a carbon-neutral economy is a seismic shift on a global scale, leaving no sector untouched. The urgent strategic, operational and reputational challenges are considerable, but so are the opportunities for growth. We are happy to invite you to
Transform Powerfully: Baker McKenzie Energy Transition Dialogue
Navigating your energy transition journey: Opportunities and challenges for suppliers, industrials and other market players
Thursday, 25 January 2024, 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm CET
Baker McKenzie, Neuer Zollhof 2, 40221 Dusseldorf, Germany

Thailand is taking the next step towards strengthening the legal framework on air quality control as the Cabinet approved in principle the Draft Management for Clean Air Act (“Clean Air Bill”), which was proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) on 28 November 2023. Thailand’s current legal framework to manage air quality can be seen in many existing laws that regulate the monitoring and treatment of air pollution, and specify air quality standards. There are many governmental agencies acting as regulators for the purpose of air quality control, including the MONRE, the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Public Health.

Much of the focus around climate legislation coming out of the latest California legislative session has been on new, far-reaching requirements pertaining to disclosure of climate data and climate-related financial risk. However, California also adopted a third law related to climate change last year – AB 1305 – which has received somewhat less attention but may well have a wider and more immediate effect. Intended to address greenwashing claims, particularly related to voluntary carbon offsets (“VCO”), the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosure Act mandates disclosure by entities that: (1) sell VCO credits in California; (2) buy or use VCO credits sold in California; and/or (3) make climate claims about corporate performance or products.

France is the first country in the European Union to transpose the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
The CSRD replaces the previous Non-Financial Reporting Directive, that created the obligation for non-financial reporting. This transposition broadens the scope of companies that have to implement sustainability reporting and extends their transparency obligations.

With increasing awareness of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology as a key enabler for decarbonization, many developments in this area, such as exploration for carbon storage sites, have been reported. However, presently, in Thailand, there is no legislation specifically governing such CCS-related activities. In this context, the Department of Mineral Fuels has been developing a legal framework to accommodate CCS-related activities as can be seen from the recent public hearing of the draft amendment to the Petroleum Act, B.E. 2514 (1971) (“Draft Petroleum Act”), which aims to introduce the concept of “carbon business” as another regulated activity in a similar manner to conventional petroleum concessions.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Long-term Roadmap Working Committee published its Final Report on the implementation of CCS in Japan in March 2023. This followed the Japanese Cabinet’s approval of the “Basic Strategy for the Realization of GX (Green Transformation)” a month earlier, which stated that legislation and a regulatory framework for CCS should be developed as soon as possible. METI began its deliberations in September 2023, resulting in the publication of its “Draft Interim Summary of the CCS Regulatory Framework” on 15 December 2023. This alert summarizes the clarified Japanese legal regime for CCS projects.

On 14 November 2023, through Resolution 385/2023 of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Strategy for the Use of Carbon Markets (ENUMeC) was approved.
The ENUMeC aims to promote the implementation of carbon markets and the development of projects that contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Argentina, in line with the international climate commitments undertaken by Argentina (under the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol).