The business of climate change law

By ,

Julius Melnitzer explains why new green laws, more than ever before, are narrowing the gap between business and environmental law.

And indeed over the last couple of years, law firms have worked hard to show their expertise in this field. I have spoken to more than a few lawyers now that tell me that climate change is becoming a mainstream practice area, albeit one that draws upon a number of specialties. Lawyers are now giving advice on the ability to generate and trade carbon credits, ownership of those credits, and how offsets must be treated from a tax perspective. There’s also greater pressure from investors, shareholders and securities regulators about disclosure regarding reporting issuers’ environmental footprint and regulatory risk.

Not that any of this is a huge surprise, mind you. The fact that lawyers are responding to the convergence of business and environmental considerations really only mirrors the growing consensus that sustainable development is becoming integral part of business strategy.