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international finance

This is the page for Caroline Bradley’s International Finance Class at the University of Miami. In Spring 2020 I am offering a one credit class on Climate Finance as my international finance offering.

April 22: Classes finished yesterday and I didn’t put up my litigation issue in time, for which I apologize, although I do think we covered quite a bit of ground for a 1 credit class. If you are interested in the litigation issue I would be happy to discuss it with you. What I wanted to talk about was the way in which climate change litigation in the US is an evolution of environmental litigation that has been happening for some time. So there are number of environmental organizations that focus on litigation as a component of their strategy. The litigation, or at least the organizations involved in the litigation often benefit from funding by foundations and other philanthropic entities.

explores how the litigation campaign has grown into a well-funded and well-organized group of non-profits and law firms, many of which stand to benefit from protracted fundraising campaigns even if they ultimately lose the lawsuits. All the while, they try to leverage their ability to recruit plaintiffs to file these lawsuits in their effort to drive national energy policy and a potential settlement, even if their claims have no legal merit.

NAM would like to delegitimize climate change litigation as it would like to delegitimize litigation against business groups more generally. Climate change litigation is a real threat because many people care about the issue and will support the organizations that file lawsuits.

We mostly focused on the idea of trying to achieve change through regulation or through influencing the behavior of private actors (or a combination). But litigation is another part of the picture that is worth thinking about, and one in which money also plays an important role.

April 20: Here is the Green Financing lecture (although I recorded this yesterday night the recording took a long time to process). I plan to add the litigation finance lecture tonight.

April 19: Here is the EU Taxonomy lecture

April 14: Topic 6: Green Lending I am going to begin with focusing on the EU’s Taxonomy and this paper: Alexander Dobrinevskii & Raphaël Jachniki, Exploring options to measure the climate consistency of real economy investments , OECD Environment Working Papers No. 159 (Mar. 2020)

Then the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and, in particular the Guidance Document and the Guidance Document on Impact Analysis

I think this is sufficient reading to assign at this point, although there are various Green Bond and Green Lending criteria.

For the final topic, on climate-related litigation and its funding I will not be assigning any reading. I will put up the lectures on green lending and litigation by the time our class would have been held on Monday April 20. If you have questions you want to ask me about any of this material or comments you would like to make about this class I am happy to hear from you.

April 13: I am posting two separate lectures on the asset management material (EU Taxonomy lecture is postponed):

The first is Asset management: general framing

The second is Asset management: assigned readings (1)

April 7: Topic 5: Asset Management and Sustainable Finance

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, An Introduction to Responsible Investment for Asset Owners

EU Regulation 2019/2088 on Sustainability Related Disclosures in the Financial Services Sector, OJ L 317/1 (Dec. 9, 2019)

The EU Taxonomy: Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance, TEG Final Report on the EU Taxonomy (March 2020) (Additional Reading (if you are particularly interested and have the time): Technical Annex to the TEG Final Report on the EU Taxonomy (March 2020)

Stavros Gadinis & Amelia Miazad, Sustainability in Corporate Law (August 20, 2019) (you should be able to download the paper from this page)

April 6:I am posting two separate lectures on the securities disclosure material:

The first is Securities disclosure and climate change: general thoughts

The second is Securities disclosure and climate change: assigned readings

April 5: Here’s a depressing article by Bill McKibben, Big Oil is using the coronavirus pandemic to push through the Keystone XL pipeline (The Guardian, April 5, 2020). Given our recent focus on fossil fuel divestment, this seems relevant. And it’s not clear to me how this investment makes any economic sense given the low price of oil right now.

March 31: Topic 4: Readings on Securities Laws and Climate-related Securities Disclosures

Hannah Vizcarra, The Reasonable Investor and Climate-Related Information: Changing Expectations for Financial Disclosures, 50 Environmental Law Reporter 10106 (2020)

Alliance for Corporate Transparency, 2019 Research Report: an Analysis of the Sustainability Reports of 1000 Companies Pursuant to the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive (pages 1-62)

Communication from the Commission — Guidelines on non-financial reporting: Supplement on reporting climate-related information, C/2019/4490 (Jun. 17, 2019)

Climate Disclosure Standards Board, EU Environmental Reporting Handbook (Feb. 2020)

Financial Conduct Authority, Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations, CP 20/3 (Mar. 17, 2020)

IAIS- Issues Paper on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (Feb 2020)

March 30:

I am posting two separate lectures on the divestment material.

The first is: Divestment: General Thoughts

The second is Divestment: Discussion of Assigned Readings (other than Grayling & Gunningham)

Readings for the next class segment will be posted soon.

March 23:

Here is the Green Swan lecture.

Please see below for readings for the next session.

Some of the materials in the first section referred to two important concepts with respect to climate change: the need for mitigation and the need for adaptation. Climate change mitigation includes action to reduce greenhouse gases, for example by changing manufacturing processes, increasing use of renewable energy etc. Adaptation to climate change involves measures like adjusting building codes to deal with a higher water table.

The novel coronavirus and our reactions to it are having some impacts on these climate change issues. Emissions of nitrogen dioxide have fallen (the article quotes Paul Monks, a professor of air pollution at the University of Leicester: ““We are now, inadvertently, conducting the largest-scale experiment ever seen,” he said. “Are we looking at what we might see in the future if we can move to a low-carbon economy?””). But we are also spending much more time online, and some argue that online activity is a significant contributor to climate change.

On risks of pandemics you may be interested to read Torsten Bell, Economists told us what a pandemic could do. Who listened? (The Guardian, Mar. 22, 2020)

You can listen to my Miami Law Explainer podcast on climate finance here

. March 22: I am working on the online components for this class. Here is the first of my video lectures on Financial Stability: General Comments If you have questions or comments please email me or use the comments feature on the blog. I will be providing another video focusing on the Green Swan document later.

Meanwhile, with respect to the financial stability issue generally, and as it relates to climate change, in the first video I note two issues:

1. the potential clash between financial regulators and central banks who see financial stability issues in contexts where others see the issues as political issues – and this is an issue with respect to climate change

2. how should we think about financial stability when developments with potentially profound economic and financial consequences don’t in fact seem to be producing financial instability?

Class Session 3: Fossil Fuel Divestment

Julie Ayling & Neil Gunningham, Non-state Governance and Climate Policy: the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement, Climate Policy (2015) (16 pp): you should be able to access a pdf version of this article via google scholar.

Larry Fink, A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance (letter to CEOs)

Larry Fink, Sustainability as BlackRock’s New Standard for Investing (letter to Investors)

Valerie Pavilonis, Swensen breaks silence on divestment (Yale Daily News Feb. 21, 2020)

Insuring Coal No More: The 2019 Scorecard on Insurance, Coal and Climate Change (Dec.2019)

The Hartford Announces Its Policy On Insuring, Investing In Coal, Tar Sands (Dec. 19, 2019)

EIB Investment Report 2019/2020: accelerating Europe’s transformation at pages 155-191

Oil Change International & Friends of the Earth, Adding Fuel to the Fire: Export Credit Agencies and Fossil Fuel Finance (Jan 2020)

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