Vance Center Project Builds Knowledge About Corporate Climate Laws in 17 Countries

May 2024

Over the last several months, the Vance Center has coordinated cutting-edge research on laws regulating the climate impacts of companies’ activities. This research is now available in one of the world’s leading climate law databases.

The Vance Center worked with partner law firms to help update a widely used international database of climate change laws, contributing essential information for NGOs and companies in 17 countries in Southeast Asia and the MENA region. 

Many countries now require companies to reveal more about the climate-related impacts of their activities, through legislation and policies such as corporate disclosure regulation. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently introduced requirements for large companies to provide more information on their climate impacts, and similar laws have also been introduced in the European Union. Keeping up with these laws is a challenging task for lawyers, companies, and environmental NGOs, especially in jurisdictions which attract less international media attention. 

The Vance Center and partner law firms are working with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment to address significant gaps in international knowledge about these laws. The Grantham Institute, one of the world’s leading climate research centers, maintains the Climate Change Laws of the World database – the world’s most comprehensive repository of laws and regulations related to climate change.

The Grantham Institute and the Vance Center identified 17 large economies in two regions (Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa) with little information available internationally about their corporate climate laws. Lawyers at Tilleke and Gibbins provided information on three Southeast Asian jurisdictions, while lawyers at Dentons provided information on 15 MENA jurisdictions.  

The database includes information on more than 5,000 climate laws and policies around the world. It covers climate and climate-related laws, as well as laws and policies that connect climate policy to other key areas including energy, transport, land use, and climate resilience. The Vance Center’s contributions help reinforce the database’s function as a global resource, and expand its reach to better cover under-reported jurisdictions. 

This research provides vital information for environmental NGOs and companies, both of which frequently rely on the Climate Change Laws of the World database. For NGOs, familiarity with the local regulatory regime can help them hold domestic and multinational companies to account for violations, while companies can use this information to ensure compliance, particularly when entering new jurisdictions.