Climate Change Law & Policy |
Since 2004, Perkins Coie's lawyers have focused on legal and regulatory issues affected by climate change. Today, climate change is affecting environmental conditions, national and international politics, energy production and transportation economics. As we anticipated in 2004, federal, regional and state regulators have created numerous new national, regional and state programs to address climate change. Business infrastructure, real estate values, crop production and natural resource allocation are beginning to adapt to this new reality.
Since 1997, Perkins Coie lawyers have been delivering regular updates to their clients on US, Canadian and International climate change activities.
Most recently, the EPA's response to the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA makes federal greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation almost certain. As climate concerns change federal clean air regulation, energy, tax, grant and subsidy policies, private and institutional investors must consider climate related market risks and opportunities in new light as they evaluate different projects and opportunities. Many companies may be required to reduce their GHG emissions, and likely will need to invest in new capital projects. Investor and consumer perception of a company's response to and disclosure of climate risk can affect stock price and enterprise value.
Perkins Coie's lawyers involved in climate change regularly advise our industrial, agricultural and commercial clients on current and anticipated laws and regulations which could generate enforcement issues and litigation, as well as how to understand and use emerging carbon markets to manage carbon "footprints."
Our national Climate Change practice helps our clients manage the risks and capitalize on the opportunities that come with changes in regulatory and physical environments. We work in all areas of the law that involve GHG emissions, including
- capital markets and trading,
- energy development,
- REC purchase and supply,
- environmental and land use restrictions,
- administrative matters,
- corporate finance,
- Tax and tort law.
Our Climate Change team – composed of lawyers experienced in each of these areas – closely follows (and even initiates) developments in this new field and provides strategic advice to companies planning voluntary or regulated transactions involving climate change.
We regularly advise on:
Regulatory Compliance Involving
- International, national, state and local climate based regulation, including GHG emissions inventories, reporting protocols and registries, and GHG mitigation requirements at industrial facilities and power plants.
- Siting and permitting for large and small renewable and traditional energy projects using coal, wind, solar, hydropower and biomass, as well as the transmission and supply of traditional and renewable energy.
- Siting, permitting and operating industrial and agricultural projects to comply with, or take advantage of, particular climate change programs, requirements and investments.
- Obtaining regulatory approvals and waivers from federal, state and local regulatory bodies and commissions, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, EPA and many other agencies.
- GHG impact analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act and state and local planning laws.
- Corporate disclosure of climate change regulatory risks and responses under SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements.
- Inventory and management of carbon “footprints.”
Carbon Finance, Markets and Acquisitions
- Carbon trading strategies and market analysis, including cap and trade programs (e.g., Chicago Climate Exchange), carbon offsets, and the sale and procurement of verified emissions reductions (VERs) and renewable energy credits (RECs).
- Due diligence for M&A transactions, including analysis of geographic vulnerabilities, required capital expenditures, operational flexibility under different regulatory scenarios and participation in trading markets.
- Technology funds and ethical investments.
Policy Analysis, Government Representation, and Strategic Planning
- Evaluating and influencing existing and emerging climate change law and policy at the international, national, regional, state and local level.
- Advising on and assisting participation in voluntary GHG-reduction programs, including GHG emissions reporting platforms, verifiable emissions reductions and receipt of early (pre-regulatory) action credit for reductions.
- Evaluating liability exposure (environmental, property, directors’ and officers’ liability) and insurance coverage related to climate risk and advising on and assisting in the procurement of adequate insurance.
- Advising on and assisting participation in public comment processes that develop climate change regulations and standards.
- Assisting in the management of external relations related to a company's climate change initiatives.
Contracting and Asset Transfer
- Negotiating and drafting contracts for a wide variety of facilities, as well as for the sale or transfer of environmental and energy products. This includes contracts for renewable energy credits, credit trading and the sale of GHG emission reduction products.
- Preparation of all types of agreements affecting renewable energy generating facilities, including power purchase agreements, interconnection agreements, tolling agreements, transmission agreements and natural gas transportation agreements.
- All aspects of project development, including project finance, siting, regulatory approvals, sales agreements and contracts.
- Conducting and advising on: