Commercial pressures and new regulation driving change
Global law firm Clyde & Co today launched its report, Building Better Resilience: A Climate Change Guide for the Built Environment in the UK, to help businesses operating in the built environment in the UK identify and mitigate specific legal risks arising out of the climate emergency.
The guide has been released in the wake of the COP26 summit and in response to the continuing changes to the legal landscape in relation to climate change to which businesses are responding.
There are a number of key factors which are driving these changes including a combination of commercial pressures and new regulation that is giving rise to novel commercial, contractual and regulatory risks.
On a commercial level, businesses operating in the built environment are issuing declarations and implementing policies to decarbonise their activities. On a national level, the UK Government has issued the Energy White Paper, setting out a roadmap of regulatory reform, and local government bodies are increasingly declaring climate emergencies, enabling them to put in place contingency planning and expenditure to counter the impacts of climate change – from flood defences through to support for individual residents.
The report aims to be an informative and practical guide to identifying and managing climate change risk for construction and property development in the UK. It covers the sector’s contribution to climate change and explains the distinct climate change risks across three distinct areas of physical, transitional and liability. It addresses these risks through all core stages of a construction and development project, from public procurement, design, planning, finance, insurance, construction, real estate and operation & maintenance.
Commenting on the launch of the report, Partner Lucy Frith says: “Working with our clients involved in the built environment, we know they are keenly aware of the pressure on them to reach net zero and what that means for them at a policy and strategy level.
“However, many organisations are unclear on what the specific short to medium term risks caused by climate change are and how to manage these as a business. These risks range from the regulatory to the practical and will transform not just how organisations govern and report on climate change, but also how projects are planned and built and the terms on which the stakeholders on those projects create contracts and collaborate with others.”
Download the report here.