Sustainability and Clean Energy: Government Regulations and Incentives

Discover the latest developments in government regulations and incentives driving sustainability and clean energy. This insightful article explores the proactive measures taken by the EU Parliament and the Biden-Harris administration to empower consumers and advance renewable energy.
Governments continue to introduce new legislation and financial incentives which aim to achieve sustainability and clean energy goals.

EU Parliament's Efforts

Last week, the EU parliament backed new rules to improve product labelling and durability and to fight claims that amount to greenwashing.

MEPs voted to approve a proposal for a new directive to help and empower consumers for a green transition. The goal of the draft legislation is to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices while encouraging companies to offer sustainable products.

Producers of goods will need to present detailed evidence when using general environmental claims such as “environmentally friendly”, “biodegradable”, “carbon neutral” and “eco”.

The legislation also aims to ban environmental claims that are based on carbon offsetting schemes only, making claims about the whole product if the claim applies only to a part of the product, or exaggerating the durability or performance of a product.

The EU Parliament is hoping to ban design features that limit a product’s life or functionality, and push manufacturers to produce more repairable goods, and increase transparency on any product guarantees.

Biden-Harris Administration's Investment

In the US, the Biden-Harris administration has made an $11 billion investment in grants and loans, to advance clean energy across rural America. This is the single largest investment in rural electrification since President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Act in 1936, and will provide rural communities with an affordable and reliable power grid. It will also help to create new jobs and combat climate change, while significantly reducing air and water pollution.

USDA's Role and Funding

This initiative is part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which makes the nation’s largest-ever investment in tackling the climate crisis. Funding will be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which will offer $9.7 billion to eligible rural electric cooperatives to deploy renewable energy systems, zero-emission, and carbon capture systems. In addition, the USDA will make $1 billion available in partially forgivable loans to renewable-energy developers and electric service providers, to help finance large-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower projects and energy storage in support of renewable energy systems.

The drive towards sustainability and net-zero emissions will continue to gather momentum as legislation is introduced and further financial incentives are offered.

Dr Jacqueline Faridani

Dr Jacqueline Faridani heads up Prospect Law’s fast growing ESG practice. She is an advisor in financial risk management with 20 years of experience in a variety of risk management, compliance and product control roles at Canadian, German, French and Russian banks and life insurance companies, as well as for the Canadian financial regulator (OSFI).

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.