Businesses across the globe are changing the way they operate and conduct business in response to global climate change and the desire for a sustainable future. The pressure to address climate change is rapidly increasing with the development of federal, state, local and international policies and regulations. In response to this complex and evolving issue, Michael Best has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys to assist clients in understanding the challenges and opportunities climate change presents to their business.
Whether voluntary or compliance driven, all companies with greenhouse gas sources should consider developing a climate change strategy. Our Climate Change Group offers skilled and experienced attorneys in areas such as carbon markets, contracts and corporate transactions, corporate governance, environmental challenges, real estate, regulatory compliance, project development and financing and tax, providing an integrated strategic approach unique to each client’s situation.
Michael Best attorneys counsel clients on how to obtain the most value from their greenhouse gas emission credits, including providing advice on participation in the Chicago Climate exchange.
Contracts and Corporate Transactions
Our attorneys offer unrivaled experience in contractual negotiations involving climate change.
Michael Best attorneys are called upon to counsel management and directors on the current and evolving climate change programs so they may develop their own climate change programs and policies.
Our Environmental Practice Group has more than a century of experience providing reliable, cost-effective environmental legal services. Members of our environmental team have served in government and private industry and maintain key relationships with regulators and legislators effectively working with technical staff and environmental consultants to find innovative approaches to climate change issues.
Michael Best attorneys offer guidance to clients on the development of “green” buildings, as well as those developers who seek to convert existing properties to environmentally friendly buildings.
More than 160 nations have adopted the Kyoto Protocal, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which became effective in February 2005. The United States has not adopted the Kyoto Protocol, however many states are passing their own legislation or are entering into regional greenhouse gas pacts. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. Michael Best attorneys assist clients in preparation for these evolving state and federal programs, advising them of the potential impact various scenarios may have on their business.
Project Development and Financing
Many clients are engaging in alternative energy projects as part of the business’s overall strategic plan. Michael Best attorneys assist clients with all phases of the project development from establishing the structure and terms of the project to financing, including equity and debt financing, recapitalizations, bank financing, roll-up and other multi-step transactions.
Michael Best Climate Change attorneys provide counsel on financial opportunities resulting from new tax laws, namely those related to alternative energy sources.
Our Climate Change and Sustainability Group draws upon the substantial experience of the attorneys from our Renewable Energy Practice Group. Our team members combine diverse backgrounds from the worlds of agriculture, energy and business to provide clients in-depth knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change. On the public policy side several of our attorneys have served in key state government administrative and economic development capacities, and have actively participated in Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s 2006 signing of the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act and his subsequent announcement of Wisconsin’s Declaration of Energy Independence. Our government experience has been invaluable in securing regulatory approvals and economic development incentives, and in such major accomplishments as the creation of the first stand-alone regional electric transmission company in the United States.