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Companies and Climate Change
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Book description

Companies lie at the heart of the climate crisis and are both culpable for, and vulnerable to, its impacts. Rising social and investor concern about the escalating risks of climate change are changing public and investor expectations of businesses and, as a result, corporate approaches to climate change. Dominant corporate norms that put shareholders (and their wealth maximization) at the heart of company law are viewed by many as outdated and in need of reform. Companies and Climate Change analyzes these developments by assessing the regulation and pressures that impact energy companies in the UK, with lessons that apply worldwide. In this work, Lisa Benjamin shows how the Paris Agreement, climate and energy law in the EU and the UK, and transnational human rights and climate litigation, are regulatory and normative developments that illustrate how company law can and should act as a bridge to progressive corporate climate action.


'This fascinating and timely book provides a chilling illustration of how tightly intertwined the global climate emergency is with the core dynamics of corporate governance and shareholder capitalism. It highlights how the traditionally autonomous fields of corporate law, environmental regulation and human rights can no longer safely be confined to their own distinct discursive spaces. As lawyers, scholars, and policymakers in these fields we must all become as multi-faceted in our work as Dr Lisa Benjamin is. No less than the very future of our planet depends on it.'

Marc Moore - Professor of Corporate/Financial Law, UCL Faculty of Laws, University College London

'I gladly endorse Lisa Benjamin’s Companies and Change: Theory and Law in the United Kingdom. Lisa’s grasp of the science of climate change and the intertwined legal complexity of corporate governance is formidable. This volume is a vital tool allowing policy makers to understand the structures of companies and how the economic and legal structures of companies can be reformed, in domestic jurisdictions and globally. This monograph is pellucid, it challenges the dominant discourse of profit maximisation in companies and Multinational Enterprises leading to the climate emergency. The books advocates a range of solutions including different models for business and involving financiers to invest their capital into renewable technology. The book is passionate and simultaneously academically rigorous. A wonderful piece of writing.'

Janet Dine - Professor of International Economic Development Law, Queen Mary University of London

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