Climate Change

Climate change is a critical long term challenge for business. Its effects are already being felt, and may cause significant changes to ways of life and doing business. Alongside this challenge, the regulatory response to climate change also presents significant opportunities with new markets and technologies developing as part of the slow transition towards a lower carbon economy.

Our clients look for rapid and responsive guidance on the changing regulatory environment to enable them to take advantage of emerging opportunities and to comply with evolving standards. Our practice comprises more than 20 specialist climate change lawyers in London, New York and all the major regions of the world and we advise businesses on a wide variety of climate change-related issues and transactions.  We have a marketing-leading carbon practice and some of the largest and most sophisticated players in the carbon markets have come to us to structure, negotiate and close some of their most complex, innovative and important transactions.  We are currently heavily involved in advising clients on the emerging carbon market in California, which will launch in 2013.

Linklaters is widely recognised as a market leader in the voluntary emissions markets in both the US and Europe and has worked with a number of investment banks on their voluntary markets acquisitions and strategy. We also have experience in the developing area of forestry: assisting in the drafting of laws and the development of regulatory strategy in relation to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), forestry and land-use rights; and assisting a project developer in the Democratic Republic of Congo to develop a combined CDM and VCS forestry project.

We are an important contributor to the dialogue between industry and government on the decarbonisation of the leading economies. In the UK, we have participated in CBI working groups on carbon reporting and the international negotiations for a new climate deal. We have also worked with the UK Green Buildings Council on sustainable real estate and with the Confederation of British Industry on mandatory carbon reporting.  We chair the Legal Sector Alliance subcommittee on climate policy. We actively participate in the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Carbon Markets Industry Association and IETA working groups.

Recent climate change transactions include advising

  • Quimobasicos, a Mexican chemicals company, in relation to issuance of carbon credits from their project in Mexico under the Clean Development Mechanism including making submissions to the Executive Board in relation to the application of the international rules agreement under the Kyoto Protocol to their project.
  • Rio Tinto in relation to its conversion of Lynemouth power station to biomass, including biomass supply arrangements, permitting variations and the site’s compliance with carbon and other air emissions trading schemes.
  • Climate Action Reserve, the largest offset programme by value in the US,  on a number of strategic issues including the contemplated program expansion in Canada
  • JP Morgan in relation to the acquisition of carbon credits from an emission reduction project in Russia under the joint implementation mechanism
    the World Bank on its role as trustee and on the monetisation of the Adaptation Fund