2024 ACCEL Environmental Law Year in Review: Spotlighting Climate Change, Nature Repair, Transport, and Greenwashing – Law School: Events 2024 ACCEL Environmental Law Year in Review: Spotlighting Climate Change, Nature Repair, Transport, and Greenwashing – Law School: Events

2024 ACCEL Environmental Law Year in Review: Spotlighting Climate Change, Nature Repair, Transport, and Greenwashing

2024 ACCEL Environmental Law Year in Review: Spotlighting Climate Change, Nature Repair, Transport, and Greenwashing

The Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law at Sydney Law School invites you to its Environmental Law Year in Review Conference on 8 March 2024.

In Australia and around the world, 2023 was a significant year for climate and environmental law reform. To keep 1.5°C within reach, COP28 called on governments to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels. An ambitious environmental agenda was pursued by the Australian Government, including reforming the Safeguard Mechanism and advancing a framework to require financial risk disclosures related to climate change.

Biodiversity loss and the risk of ecosystem collapse continued to drive a variety of developments. The global Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures finalised a voluntary framework to assist organisations in reporting and acting on nature-related issues. A groundbreaking legal opinion also highlighted the need for directors to consider nature-related risks. The Australian Government passed the Nature Repair Act 2023, creating the framework for a voluntary national nature repair market, and consulted on complex changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, including the establishment of a new national environment authority – Environment Protection Australia.

Meanwhile, the High Court, in a 4:3 decision, held that the Victorian electric vehicle road user charge was unconstitutional, raising broader questions about road infrastructure funding and the role of states in transport decarbonisation. Regulatory action on greenwashing surged, with increasing scrutiny by the ACCC and ASIC of company sustainability and climate-related claims. ASIC’s case against Mercer marked a historic moment, and greenwashing continues to be a focus of strategic climate litigation, including by Greenpeace.

This event will bring together academics, practitioners, members of the NGO sector, government officials and students to hear about the implications of these ‘once in a generation’ developments in climate and environmental law. Keynote speakers and panellists will discuss the following topics:

Outcomes of COP28

  • Reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism
  • Sustainable Finance Strategy and mandatory climate-related financial disclosures
  • NSW Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023
  • Reforms to the EPBC Act
  • New Nature Repair Act
  • Legal opinion on nature-related risks and directors duties
  • The Vanderstock decision and transport decarbonisation
  • Greenwashing regulation and litigation

Book launch and reception

Following the conference proceedings, the Law School is delighted to invite you to the launch of the third edition of The International Law of the Sea, co-authored by Professor Don Rothwell, ANU College of Law, and Professor Tim Stephens, Sydney Law School and published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

The book will be launched by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales.

Find out more about the book and order it online here.

 Draft program

9.15 Nature-related risk, repair and the EPBC Act
Panelists:
Samantha Daly – Johnson Winter Slattery
Janet Hallows – Carbon Market Initiative
Rachel Walmsley – Environment Defenders Office
10.45 Morning tea
11.15 COP28 and climate reform
Panelists:
Professor Rosemary Lyster – University of Sydney Law School
Ilona Miller – Gilbert and Tobin
Keith Rovers – Minter Ellison
12.45 Lunch
1.30pm  Vanderstock – where does it leave us?
Panelists:
Associate Professor Celeste Black – University of Sydney
Roderick Campbell – The Australia Institute
David Barnden – Equity Generation Lawyers
3pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm Combatting greenwashing
Kirsty Ruddock – Environment Defenders Office
Kirsten Webb – Clayton Utz
Marita Hogan, Senior Executive Leader in Enforcement and Compliance, ASIC
5pm Close and networking reception
5.30pm Book launch
Launch of the third edition of The International Law of the Sea, launched by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of New South Wales.

Registration:
  • Full day in-person attendance: $80 (inc. GST)
  • University of Sydney students (full day attendance): Free (Students will need to provide proof of student status at registration. Any registrations that do not provide valid proof, will be cancelled)

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8 March 2024

Time
Conference: Registration from 8.45am, 9am-5pm conference, followed by the book launch of The International Law of the Sea
Book launch: 5.30pm – 7pm

Venue: New Law Building (F10), Level 1, Law Lounge, University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus

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This event is hosted by the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL) at Sydney Law School.

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Date

Mar 08 2024

Time

8:30 am - 6:45 pm

More Info

Register

Organizer

Professional Learning and Community Engagement
Email
law.events@sydney.edu.au
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