chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
February 22, 2023

ESG legal issues on agenda at Environmental Summit of the Americas in New York

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2023 — The world’s leading environmental lawyers from across the Americas — North, South, Central and Caribbean countries — will gather to discuss legal issues related to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) at the Environmental Summit of the Americas, March 1-2 at the law offices of Vinson & Elkins LLP in New York City.

The summit, sponsored by ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources and International Bar Association Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (IBA SEERIL), follows the IBA’s program “ESG: The Role of Lawyers Today and in the Future,” scheduled for Feb. 28-March 1.

A keynote address, “Lawyering for Global ESG,” will feature Lisa Fairfax, presidential professor at University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, at 4:15 p.m. March 1.  

Environmental Summit of the Americas   
Wednesday-Thursday, March 1-2 

Vinson & Elkins LLP 
1114 Sixth Ave. 
New York, NY

Program highlights include (all times are EST):

“ESG and Anti-ESG Activists: Searching for a Balance” ─ ESG activists have become increasingly sophisticated in their use of the shareholder proposal process to press public companies to adopt particular policies, targets and disclosures. In the United States, the SEC’s adoption of the Universal Proxy Rules will make it easier than ever for activists to nominate directors to a company’s board, and we will almost certainly see additional campaigns for ESG directors this year. At the same time, an increasing number of states are promoting “anti-ESG” legislation, seeking to prevent companies from taking actions they view as advancing the political purposes of ESG and also withdrawing funds from large institutional investors with significant ESG policies. This session will focus on the role of shareholders and political activism in shaping corporate ESG policies and discuss strategies to find a balance. 8:45-10 a.m., Thursday

“Sustainable Finance ─  An International Perspective”  The United Nations has estimated that the world will need to spend between $3 trillion and $5 trillion annually to meet the sustainable development goals by 2030 and the COVID-19 pandemic increased that estimate. In this scenario, sustainable finance is developing in Latin America with examples of sovereigns issuing sustainability-linked bonds and green bonds, and the private sector entering into result-based contracts, and finance agreements with ESG-linked key performance indicators. This session will address these current trends, the legal complexities, the opportunities for clients and the role of legal advisers. 2:30-3:45 p.m., Thursday

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Jennifer Kildee at 202-662-1732 or [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews