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Mitigating risk, seizing opportunity.
Climate change raises a range of risks and opportunities for business.
Some of the immediate downsides are obvious, such as the increasing frequency of extreme weather events that can damage infrastructure and constrain economic growth. At the same time, policy and market levers are combining to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy – a process that must be carefully controlled to ensure meaningful progress while avoiding an economic shock.
There is also the rising threat of litigation as corporates are targeted by claimants demanding compensation for historic emissions and greater transparency on climate-related risk. Similar goals are being pursued by long-term investors, who are seeking more robust data on which to base their decisions and pressuring companies to decarbonise their portfolios.
In a world where geopolitical relations are increasingly fragmented and progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement remains elusive, global companies will play a vital role in the fight against climate change.
There is huge demand for sustainable infrastructure to aid the energy transition, while technological innovation offers massive potential to reduce emissions. Businesses that take the lead will open up new markets and build consumer trust, secure new sources of investment and attract the brightest talent.
Our work in relation to climate change includes representing clients on emissions-related disputes along with investor-state arbitrations linked to regulatory change. We also advise clients on ESG-linked investor relations, cross-border acquisitions and green bonds designed to finance renewable energy projects around the world.
Representing RWE in a landmark climate case brought by Peruvian farmer Saúl Luciano Lliuya in the German courts
The suit alleges that RWE bears some responsibility for the melting of mountain glaciers near Mr Lliuya’s home town of Huaraz and is obliged to compensate him for the adaptation costs he has to incur.
Advising Iberdrola Energias Renovables II on their investment into the biggest offshore wind farm project in the North Sea
Advising E.ON on its joint venture with the Norwegian energy group Statoil for the construction of an offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea
Working with ENGIE on the proposed acquisition of a portfolio of solar and wind generating assets, including in India, and the related due diligence
Advising RWE on its landmark €38bn transaction with E.ON, which cemented its status as a leading European renewable energy producer
Advising a multinational company on climate change and related issues
These include identifying current policy, legislative and litigation issues, and risk mitigation techniques. The mandate saw us bring together a broad team made up of climate change litigation, governance and reporting, sustainability and regional experts.
Advising a major European airline on climate change disclosures
Advising all major US airlines in a legal challenge to the climate change-based EU emissions trading system
Providing advice to a major German financial services company in investment arbitration proceedings against Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty.
The dispute arose from investments in the renewable energy sector by the company, which suffered substantial losses due to Spanish regulatory action
Advising the Asian Development Bank, CGIF and BPI Capital on the project bond financing of the Tiwi-Makban geothermal power plant in the Philippines, Asia’s first certified climate bond
Editing and contributing to the annual International Comparative Legal Guide to Environment and Climate Change Law, which provides legal practitioners with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of environmental and climate change laws and regulations
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Vienna, Frankfurt am Main
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Frankfurt am Main
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Martin Hutchings Partner
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