Environment and climate change

Sustainability and climate change is the defining challenge – and opportunity – of this generation. 

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A&O Shearman’s market-leading environment and climate change practice advises on environmental and sustainability issues impacting businesses across all sectors and jurisdictions.

We provide strategic transaction advice on due diligence, contractual negotiations and sector-specific regulations, while helping organizations with specialist regulatory issues impacting on governance, risk management and, regulatory compliance. Our expertise spans, highly topical areas including sustainability reporting and disclosure, transition planning, supply chain due diligence and sustainability-related impacts, carbon markets and carbon border adjustment mechanisms, chemicals, packaging and waste.

Practical, scalable strategies

We closely track environmental, climate, sustainability and trade regulatory developments, including litigation on the same, helping clients devise and apply this legal solutions effectively in a local, regional and international context.

In a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, organizations need legal advisers to help provide clarity and mitigate risk. Our team advises on complex regulatory, policy and systemic challenges, helping our clients to develop practical, scalable environment and climate strategies across their core markets. 

Representative matters 

  • Numerous global clients on legal issues relating to their sustainability-related disclosures, SBTi climate targets and reporting compliance under the applicable sustainability standards and frameworks, taking into account broader trends in the regulatory and supervisory landscape. This includes advising boards and board members on risk mitigation.
  • Numerous multinational corporates on the management of supply chain risks including compliance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, preparing for the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and carrying out human right’s due diligence across their value chains.
  • Numerous corporates on their compliance with emissions legislation including emissions permit restrictions; controls on greenhouse gas emissions; offsetting; the allocation of carbon allowances; and trading under multiple many mandatory emissions trading schemes.
  • Several multinational companies on the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the implications for their products and operations, including analysis of the equivalent carbon pricing mechanisms.
  • Numerous clients on legal and reputational issues associated with voluntary carbon credits, including the development of a voluntary carbon credit platform’s trading methodology, terms of trade and terms of use for the platform and related issues concerning the regulatory status of the voluntary credits.
  • Numerous clients on managing greenwashing risks through their disclosures and/or through their reliance on disclosures made by supply chain actors.
  • Numerous industrial and chemical companies on a variety of EHS compliance issues including contaminated land risks, REACH, PFAS, waste, the management of hazardous substances and site permitting. 
  • Numerous large corporates on waste-related issues under European law including the definition of waste; the restrictions on the transfrontier shipment of waste; liability for waste disposal/spills and arrangements for the safe handling, treatment and recovery of waste.

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