Skip to content

Select your location

It looks like your location does not match the site. We think you might prefer to visit a site which has content specific to your location. Select the site you'd like to visit below.

English (USA)

Location successfully changed to English (Asia)

Follow us

Return to mob menu

Search the site

ClientEarth Communications

21st March 2024

Regulatory and legal developments in global and regional transition to net zero

21 March 2024 – ClientEarth collaborated with the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) during its Sustainability Summit 2024. Held at Carlton Hotel Singapore, the Summit was built around the theme of “The cost and opportunities of commitment to net-zero”. The event provided a platform for open, scientifically grounded objective discussion of the complex issues that require deeper understanding to make net-zero a reality, bringing together industry leaders, policy makers and regulators, financial institutions and legal experts.

The event was graced by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat, who provided opening remarks as Guest of Honour. DPM Heng spoke about the need for robust regulatory standards, good analytical tools, and trusted financial platforms to channel funds effectively towards the green transition. The need for continuous investment into sustainability-related skills and capabilities was also emphasised. DPM Heng’s opening remarks were followed by a keynote presented by Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, providing keen insight on the global energy challenge and the key levers that exist for the net zero transition.

Our legal consultant, Sean D. Tseng, was on hand to moderate a panel discussion, co-organised by ClientEarth and titled “Regulatory and legal developments in global and regional transition to net zero”. Panelists included Timothy Goh, Partner at Dechert LLP, Franziska Zimmermann, Director of Sustainability and Climate Change at Temasek, Lee Weilin, Head of Sustainability and Partner, Banking and Finance at Rajan and Tann Asia and Michael Tang, Head, Listing Policy and Product Admission and Head, Sustainable Development Office at Singapore Exchange Regulation.

During the panel discussion, Sean probed into the areas of climate disclosure obligations, and how those are leading towards mandating corporate transition plans. Insights were shared about the challenges faced by firms in adopting these disclosure standards. These included having self-awareness of one’s own limitations, and ensuring sufficient resources for implementation.  The rise of reporting standards such as ISSB being incorporated into regulatory expectations, and the mandatory training of directors on these standards, were seen as helpful.

Addressing greenwashing was also a key point of discussion. The panelists spoke about addressing such issues at both the regulatory and contractual level. It was clear that greenwashing could not be resolved in drafting an appropriately worded clause alone. Stringent on-site monitoring to ensure compliance was also necessary.  Reward and penalty systems were other tools that could also be used for dealing with these issues.

Other panel sessions during the event featured topics such as “Developing energy infrastructure to decouple emissions from real economic activity”, “Growing beyond compliance: Keeping up and going beyond changing standards in built environment” and “Leveraging digital innovations to achieve sustainability ambitions”.