Day 1 Tuesday 27th June – online
Working Party sessions
- 9am - Water
- 12pm - Climate Change and Energy / Nature Conservation combined session: Will nature-based solutions solve the climate and biodiversity crises or will they cause double trouble?
- 5pm - Wales
Evening - Film club: “SEVERN - The Poisoning of Britain’s Amazon”. Environment Agency whistleblowers, experts and people who live by and work with the river give their testimonials to how the river has been allowed to deteriorate and the dire consequences for people and wildlife, followed by panel discussion.
Day 2 Wednesday 28th June – online
Working Party sessions
- 9am - tbc
- 12pm - Environmental Litigation: Is there a Human Right to Healthy Water – Potential Liability for Persistent Water Polluters in Human Rights Law
- 2.30pm - tbc
- 5pm - Noise
Thursday 29th June – no formal activity
Delegates have the option to arrive at the venue on Thursday evening, see booking form.
Day 3 Friday 30th June – in person
Breakfast 7.30am-9am for those who stayed Thursday evening
9.30am-11am Registration with tea/coffee, networking with sponsors
11am Introduction from Simon Tilling, Legal Manager – Environmental, Pennon Group, Conference Chair and Gareth de Graaff, Executive Director UKELA
11.15am PLENARY 1
Law in an era of environmental crises: What’s the role of professionals?
As a nation, and as a world, we are in the midst of a climate and biodiversity emergency. How, if at all, does the urgency of this situation affect our role as practitioners? Is there now a duty for “climate conscious lawyering” (and what does that really mean)? Do any existing ethical duties – whether for lawyers or other professionals - need to adapt? Join Farhana Yamin, Professor Steven Vaughan, Estelle Dehon KC and Professor Tom Oliver for an insightful debate on these very pressing issues.
Chair: Prof Steven Vaughan, Vice-Dean (Strategy) & Professor of Law and Professional Ethics, University College London
● Estelle Dehon KC, UKELA trustee and barrister at Cornerstone Barristers
● Prof Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology, University of Reading
● Farhana Yamin, environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert
12.45pm Speaker’s Corner – Andrew Lees essay prize winner
1.15pm Lunch and networking with sponsors
2.15pm PLENARY 2
Chemical regulation – an opportunity to develop your practice in the face of a changing landscape.
An expert panel of representatives have been brought together from industry, trade association, legal sector and government in this session for a lively debate on the issues affecting the chemical sector from a regulatory perspective, e.g. REACH / UK REACH, and what environmental lawyers and consultants need to consider in terms of adapting their practice to meet the needs of both industry and regulation. This panel will provide an opportunity to hear varying perspectives on this everchanging subject along with the chance for questions from the audience to our expert panellists.
Chair: Simon Tilling, Legal Manager – Environmental, Pennon Group
- Darren Abrahams, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson
- Nishma Patel, Policy Director, Chemical Industries Association
- Neil Hollis, Regulatory Affairs Manager, BASF
3.45pm Case law update
4pm Keynote address - Mike Berners-Lee consults, thinks, writes and researches on sustainability and responses to 21st century problems. Author of acclaimed books including: There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years and How Bad Are Bananas? The carbon footprint of everything, Mike is a professor at Lancaster University, where his research includes supply chain carbon modelling, sustainable food systems and the environmental impact of ICT.
4.30pm Break, networking with sponsors
5pm PLENARY 3
Corporate diligence and reporting: will the markets save the environment?
ESG reporting is important for transparency, but what does good ESG reporting look like? The panel will discuss the challenges faced by businesses, consumers and regulators alike, including the knowledge gap, data collection barriers and greenwashing. The largely voluntary nature of ESG reporting is becoming increasingly mandatory with the advent of regulations including the EU Taxonomy, SFDR, CSRD, SDR and the UK Taxonomy. Will this ensure better sustainability outcomes?
Chair: Anne Johnstone, Head of ESG, Northtree Investment Management Ltd.
- Melissa Darby, Sustainability Corporate Counsel for Cummins
- Rebecca Kowalski FPFS, Sustainable Finance specialist, Overstory Finance
- George Richards, Partner KPMG
6.30pm Close and time for delegates to check into rooms
7.30pm until late buffet dinner and networking in Meadow Suite
Day 4 Saturday 1st July – in person
7am - 8.30am Breakfast and checkout
8.45am PLENARY 4
Nature-based solutions – threats and opportunities
The importance of ecosystem services, nature-based solutions and ‘natural capital’ are becoming widely recognised for the role that they play in enhancing resilience of ecosystems and societies that depend on them, in supporting adaptation to climate hazards, and in delivering significant biodiversity benefits. Recent international agreements have drawn heavily on nature-based solutions in seeking an approach both to the climate and nature emergencies. Nature-based solutions are already front and centre of the UK’s environmental policy as a means of addressing and mitigating impacts from development. In addition, the marine environment is being increasingly recognised for the many ecosystem services that it provides. Our expert panel will provide an international, national, marine and practical focus to this rapidly evolving and innovative area of environmental work.
- Patricia Kameri-Mbote , Director of the Law Division, of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Dr Sam Sinclair, Director, Biodiversify
10.15am Case law update
10.35am Break, networking with sponsors
11.10am The North American perspective: hot topics in environmental law in the US and Canada
Jonathan will provide his perspective on the emerging issues and key developments within environmental law in the US and Canada. In particular, he will pick out two key themes. Firstly, the role that ESG is playing in shaping the environmental agenda in North America, including the adoption of ESG reporting and metrics by North American businesses, the role of regulators, and the rising anti-ESG movement. Secondly, the rise of environmental justice in law and policy, and Jonathan will highlight some of the trends and developments in the US and Canada.
Speaker: Jonathan Kahn, Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (ABA SEER) and Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto, Canada
11.30am PLENARY 5
Environmental governance in a changing political landscape
Chair – Prof Colin Reid, Professor of Law, Dundee University
Speakers from each governance body (Office for Environmental Protection, Environmental Standards Scotland and Interim Environmental Protection Assessor for Wales). Academic speaker invited addressing the critical questions/issues facing environmental governance at present. Followed by panel discussion.
- Mark Roberts (ESS)
- Natalie Prosser (OEP, CEO)
- Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones (Interim Assessor)
- Viviane Gravey, Senior Lecturer in European Politics, Queen's University Belfast
1pm Closing address
1.15pm Farewell and thanks – Ned Westaway, Chair, UKELA
1.30pm – Close (lunch available)
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