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| 2 minutes read

ESG Legal Outlook 2024: key themes in Europe

In 2024, Europe is poised to enter a challenging phase where companies will start to implement the new mandatory sustainability reporting requirements. This year will also see the practical application and fine-tuning of the regulatory framework for sustainable finance that the EU has put in place over the previous years. The conversation on human rights due diligence is set to deepen, with the debates around Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive taking center stage. Proactive measures to prevent greenwashing will become more important, ensuring that environmental claims are more than just veneer. Meanwhile, climate change litigation remains high on the agenda, with more legal challenges on the rise. At the same time, the reshuffles of the EU institutions this summer will significantly impact ESG policy and regulation in the EU.

Our Linklaters experts explored some of the key themes set to shape the legal outlook for business in the EU in 2024 in a series of videos.


Key themes in Europe: Sustainable Finance: In this video, we explore key market trends, recent legal developments and anticipated regulatory changes, such as changes to the SFDR, the EU Green Bond Standard and the new rules for the ESG rating providers.


Key themes in Europe: ESG Reporting and Due Diligence: In this video, we explore new legal requirements which corporates and financial institutions will face in 2024 such as first reports under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, reporting on Taxonomy alignment and the green asset ratio, as well as the new EU regime for human rights and environmental due diligence (the CSDDD), sectoral due diligence requirements such as the Deforestation Regulation and a proposed ban on products made with forced labour.


Key themes in Europe: Greenwashing and ESG litigation: In this video, we explore key EU developments in relation to greenwashing such as the regulation on green claims, new rules in the advertising space and supervisory authorities’ scrutiny of the sustainability claims of financial products. We also explore key trends in climate change litigation against states and corporates, including the use of collective actions.


Key themes in Europe: Energy: In this video, we explore key topics for the EU energy market in 2024, such as reform of the EU electricity market design, gas market reform including new rules on hydrogen, measures aimed to boost green technology production in the EU, as well as CBAM implementation.


Key themes in Europe: The ‘S’ in ESG: In this video, we explore the regulatory shifts that will define the social agenda in the EU in 2024 and examine some of the key topics such as social disclosures under the CSRD, CSDDD provisions on ESG-related incentives, regulations on platform work and whistleblowing, as well as new rules on diversity and inclusion such as requirements for pay transparency and representation of women on the boards of directors.


To find out about key ESG themes and trends for this year in other regions, as well as globally, visit our ESG Legal Outlook 2024 page


esg legal outlook, climate change & environment, dei and employment, disclosure & reporting, energy & infrastructure, governance & corporate culture, greenwashing, litigation, net zero, sustainable finance, biodiversity & nature, eu-wide, belgium, france, germany, italy, luxembourg, netherlands, portugal, spain, other countries