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
- The World Bank on the Pilot Auction Facility (PAF) on its first of a kind bond structure encompassing a put option auction to leverage public finance for methane emissions reductions. We have now advised on Phases 2, 3 and 4 of this Facility. The PAF is an innovative instrument which has been under development for many years and was designed to ensure the maximum use of limited public resources for climate change mitigation, while leveraging private sector financing.
- COFIDES (a Spanish public – private organisation) on the negotiation of an Accreditation Master Agreement with the World Bank’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) in connection GCF funded projects.
- Chinese steelmaker, Jingye Group, on its first acquisition outside of China. The agreement to acquire the assets of British Steel from the Official Receiver includes the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK mills at Teesside and Skinningrove and its subsidiary businesses in France and The Netherlands. The UK Government was also a significant stakeholder with whom agreement needed to be reached on various matters connected to the previous owner, including a complex arrangement to enable British Steel to meet its EU ETS obligations under its greenhouse gas permits.
- A significant business interest group in connection with the negotiations at the UNFCCC Chile – Madrid COP 25 for agreeing the so called Paris Rule Book. The mandate involved interrogating the principles underlying the position of the business interest group in relation to the trading mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, analysing the evolving text of the Paris Rule Book and advising on drafting solutions to reflect these interests.