Carbon Emissions

Companies are increasingly seeking to reduce their carbon emissions to achieve their sustainability goals and maintain compliance with rapidly evolving regulations. Our lawyers help businesses advance their decarbonization efforts while capitalizing on applicable tax credits, energy savings, and increased customer demand; navigate disclosures on sustainability targets; and avoid or overcome antitrust investigations, class actions, and regulatory enforcement.

Infographic - Datasource Item: Decarbonization Roadmap


Renewable Energy. Performing a greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment can be a key first step in identifying emission-producing areas that can be transitioned to renewable energy. We advise companies on how to procure renewable energy or develop their own renewable energy solutions. Our work in this space includes advising companies on virtual wind and solar energy power purchase agreement arrangements (VPPAs)—a popular tool for procuring renewable energy credits and financing renewable energy projects.

Alternative Energy Sources. Companies are increasingly looking to the next generation of alternative energy sources—including small modular nuclear reactors and clean hydrogen—to meet zero-carbon energy needs for large-scale manufacturing, data centers, transportation, and remote facilities. Morgan Lewis offers one of the few dedicated nuclear energy practices advising clients on the full expanse of related nuclear regulatory, litigation, tax, and transactional matters. In the transportation sector, we assist developers, investment entities, and other industry participants in the purchase, sale, or generation of renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel.

Energy Storage. Bolstered by new funding opportunities, many commercial properties, hospitals, colleges, and large campuses are turning to onsite energy storage as a viable asset. Our lawyers help such companies take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding and green tax-credit opportunities, source battery materials, obtain financing and/or energy storage “as a service,” navigate public utility property limitations, address safety concerns, and overcome issues related to energy market access from energy storage asset output.

Carbon. Voluntary carbon markets are continuing to develop and scale up as companies turn to carbon offsets and carbon credits to help address unavoidable emissions—which has attracted global regulatory scrutiny. We help companies structure environmental attribute registries and trading systems, purchase and sell carbon offsets, invest in carbon offset projects, and ensure regulatory compliance. Carbon capture also can serve as a critical solution in decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries such as cement, steel, and refineries. We advise companies investing in or developing carbon capture utilization or storage projects through various stages of development, maximizing tax credits and federal funding, and staying vigilant in addressing related environmental and regulatory considerations.

Reporting & Disclosures. Accurately and transparently reporting carbon emissions is vital as net-zero commitments and GHG reduction goals increasingly draw the eye of state, federal, and global regulators. We advise public and private companies on the development and review of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs, governance practices, and disclosures, and identify opportunities to collaborate with suppliers across the supply chain on ways to reduce emissions and encourage sustainable practices.

Impact Investing. There is a burgeoning market for climate-specific private investment funds—whether sponsored by traditional private equity and venture capital fund managers or by charitable and other nonprofit organizations seeking to further their missions—which has led to innovations in fund structures and terms, investment methodologies, and reporting standards to meet the evolving preferences of investors and charitable sponsors’ missions. Morgan Lewis’s combination of leading investment fund, tax-exempt, regulatory, and corporate practices means that we are well positioned to advise on these evolving issues.

Risk Mitigation. Many risk areas can attract regulatory scrutiny or possible litigation around carbon emissions, including US congressional investigation into the proper use of IRA funds; the trading or purchasing of carbon credits; and class actions or greenwashing litigation on products, public statements, or ESG investing. We advise companies on how to manage risk as they take advantage of these new sources of funding, respond if they receive regulatory interest, review their advertising and ESG statements for potential greenwashing, and defend against class actions.