Earth is at a crossroads, with many climate scientists warning that ours is the last generation that can have real impact in averting a long-term crisis for our planet. Clients turn to Morgan Lewis as they consider how climate change impacts their business strategies and the communities they serve, seek to reduce their carbon footprints and secure win-win tax advantages, and implement environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures that positively impact the environment.
We work with clients spanning multiple industries to develop and implement practical sustainability strategies, including the negotiation of traditional and virtual power purchase agreements for clean energy. As one of the largest and most comprehensive law firms with a climate change practice, we also advise on corporate disclosures, real estate permitting and land use, and green building and energy efficiency.
We regularly advise clean energy project developers, owners, investors, and corporate energy purchasers during all stages of project development, acquisition, financing, and ongoing operations. Our experience includes negotiating critical agreements for the development and deployment of solar, wind, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, battery storage, nuclear, and distributed resources.
Increased focus on global climate issues is driving a rising tide of regulation requiring nuanced, strategic consideration. We help clients develop policy agendas and vet those agendas with regulators; get “a seat at the table” during regulatory proposal development; craft scientific and policy responses to regulators’ requests for comment; and proactively comply with government mandates—including EPA and CARB climate change–related rulemakings. Our lawyers closely track legislation and regulatory actions—including at FERC and in the US states—to guide clients through this rapidly changing regulatory landscape.
Where litigation is unavoidable, our deep bench of talented litigators defends companies in environmental litigation and enforcement matters including assertions of environmental contamination and greenhouse gas emissions, and is a thought leader in a novel area of law—failure to prepare for climate change–induced extreme weather. We are also at the forefront in helping clients challenge new climate change–related rules in US federal and California courts, and we have experience intervening on behalf of clients to defend regulators against challenges brought by others.
ESG is a burgeoning area presenting key considerations for global asset managers and investors. We advise on the full range of ESG and sustainable investment matters including fund formation, investments, fiduciary counseling, corporate governance, and tax structuring. We are trusted counsel to investment advisers and pension plans on ESG-related policy, risk management, disclosure, due diligence, and contract provisions. We create innovative products and flexible structures to facilitate a double bottom line return.
As companies transition their energy programs to be more environmentally conscious, a focus on ESG principles will become increasingly relevant when accessing liquidity. We guide our clients in navigating ESG due diligence and compliance issues as they negotiate with investors and financing sources, and structure transactions to comply with ESG covenants and requirements.
As governments employ tax incentives to spur the development of clean technologies to reduce climate change, we are focused on helping clients capitalize on the potential benefits as they pursue their own climate change aspirations.
Leading-edge technology will be a defining factor in solving the climate crisis. In an era of heightened competition—where public sources of funding for renewable energy and clean and other low-carbon technologies have become increasingly prominent—businesses must be vigilant about protecting their intellectual property. Our IP team—which includes lawyers and IP professionals with technical backgrounds in fields such as environmental and chemical engineering—advises on the full range of IP issues arising in the climate change arena.