Climate Change & Environmental Finance

Climate change law and policy is, above all things, an asset management practice. Climate lawyers occupy a unique field of converging legal disciplines as varied as energy and water law, finance, tax, insurance, commodity transactions, and environmental regulation. Because climate change risks, both physical and economic, are omnipresent, and affect every business and industrial sector, law and policy solutions depend on context and objectives. The strategic value of outside counsel therefore is the ability to both understand the advanced business of climate change and to provide enterprise, asset and specialized risk solutions. Competitive companies assess, appreciate, integrate, execute and capitalize on informed decision-making.

Our team is comprised of seasoned professionals – many of whom are recognized leaders in their respective sectors – and include board members of the Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). We help clients address an array of legal-, policy- and climate-related business risks across a broad range of traditional disciplines, including:

  • Energy and Environmental Markets
  • Utilities
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • Finance
  • Corporate & Securities
  • Tax
  • Private Equity
  • Real Estate and Land Use
  • Intellectual Property
  • Venture Capital
  • Litigation
  • Government Affairs
  • Insurance
  • International

Leveraging our industry team organizational structure and decades of experience and on-the-ground knowledge of the highly-regulated energy, water and financial industries, the group works closely with the firm’s energy industry teamwater resources industry team and the Cleantech Capital group to provide clients with a full suite of strategic representation and counseling on: energy and water infrastructure projects, commodity and derivative transactions; energy, environmental and securities regulation and compliance; transportation and supply chain transactions and regulation; debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions; real estate, resource and land use transactions; and clean technology investing.

Our global climate change practice provides the following services, among others:

  • Project Development. Assisting clients site, develop, permit, construct and finance energy, efficiency, emission reduction, conservation finance, water and waste management projects – optimizing bundled and unbundled market value, environmental performance and financial incentives.
  • Energy and Environmental Markets. Assisting clients address energy and environmental market rules and negotiate agreements for the generation, sale and purchase of natural resources, energy commodities, carbon and other intangible environmental assets, including swaps and derivative products, as part of voluntary or regulated compliance markets around the world.
  • Climate Finance. Represent companies, hedge funds, financial institutions and corporate strategics leverage public sector loans, loan guarantees, risk mitigation tools, credit enhancing financial instruments, other financial assistance available through green banks, municipalities, revenue authorities, international development finance institutions and federal agencies.
  • Regulatory Compliance . Assisting clients to develop and implement transaction-based and multi-tiered compliance strategies to address local, state and federal environmental laws on greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy regulations (e.g. renewable portfolio standards); state and federal energy laws and market rules affecting clean energy and energy efficiency; built environment rules (e.g. green building); water infrastructure; renewable fuels; sustainable development; and impact investing.
  • Securities and Disclosure. Assisting public companies to prepare financial and resource risk disclosure materials related to climate change and water risk. Assisting with disclosures of carbon budgets, known risks and trends, demands and commitments, utilization financial and carbon accounting best practices, and events or uncertainties are reasonably likely to result in material effects on liquidity, capital resources, revenue or net income. Representation of public companies in responding to shareholder proposals dealing with climate change topics, both in dialog with proponents and with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Venture Capital and Capital Formation. Representation of venture and growth equity funds, startup companies, and privately-held clean technology and sustainable resource firms on market, regulatory risk and asset diligence, capital raising, fund formation, corporate finance and intellectual property transactions.
  • Carbon Due Diligence. Assisting and guiding companies or investors conduct assessments or assurance audits of technologies, projects, and corporate environmental risk profiles; predict risks and opportunities; and develop mechanisms to mitigate regulatory, financial and physical risks, including assessments of companies involved in mergers and acquisitions, or in financing of companies where environmental performance, climate risk profile is a factor.
  • Climate Policy Analysis, Rule Development and Government Affairs. Tracking federal and state greenhouse gas (GHG), clean energy and other low carbon mitigation or adaptation developments affecting, assessing the impacts of various climate change proposals and implementing rulemakings, and developing, supporting and lobbying for positions to shape outcomes.
  • Litigation. Handling all aspects of carbon-related litigation, including: enforcement; certifications; nuisance and tort claims; contract claims, and comments and challenges to federal and state policies, rules, permits, and funding decisions.

The McGuireWoods climate change practice group prides itself on fashioning pragmatic solutions to the myriad climate change challenges our clients face. Drawing on our collective experience from the highest levels of government to corporate boardrooms, we are at the forefront of global and local efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate risk and integrate such issues into transactions and corporate operations. More importantly, we have the creativity, sector knowledge and cross-disciplinary expertise to help you meet that need and manage your risks and accomplish your goals.

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