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Carbon Markets & Climate Change

Widely regarded as the future’s most challenging energy and environmental issue, climate change is increasingly center stage in corporate America, implicating business strategy choices and daily operations. Goodwin Procter is a pioneer in this area, having been intensively involved with the issue early on – helping clients to develop strategies and address litigation in which climate change plays a central role.

Our expertise ranges from groundbreaking transactional work on behalf of climate change innovators to litigation in state and federal courts on behalf of businesses directly affected by state, regional and national climate change initiatives. Our work includes a key role in the Massachusetts v. EPA case, a landmark 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision which will determine the path federal regulators will forge in addressing climate change concerns, particularly greenhouse gas emissions.

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Briefly, our significant recent work includes:

  • Designing the first renewable energy credit (“REC”) certification program for the then- and current, independent “green stamping” leader.
  • Pioneering among the first REC and mandatory carbon-credits transfer agreements – from letters of intent through purchase and sales agreements – for leading participants in the climate change arena. This work has included arbitraging RECs, carbon credits and similar “green-stamping” measures.
  • Pioneering the development of the first major voluntary public company carbon-reduction programs, on behalf of a widely regarded “best in class” company.
  • Developing a regional market-based funding mechanism for renewable energy projects and technologies, focusing on greenhouse gas reductions. This project involved bringing together government, leading national technology universities and the venture capital sector to develop a system for fostering and eventually funding clean energy initiatives.
  • Assisting in the design of a national carbon-branding initiative, focusing on the reinvestment strategies, particularly as they relate to aggregation of carbon-free electricity.
  • Actively participating on behalf of our stakeholder clients, in national, regional (“RGGI”) and state carbon initiatives, including by litigating aspects of these programs in leading RGGI states, regarding the use of auctions and their management, allocation of carbon credits, allowance allocation and system verification.
  • Litigating early reduction credits and allowance allocation associated with RGGI-determined Northeastern state carbon-control programs in among the first such actions to be brought in the United States.
  • Assisting in the evaluation of electric-market reliability and pricing impacts of greenhouse gas decision-making.
  • Counseling corporate clients on climate change policies and GHG management strategies
  • Evaluating GHG emissions and climate change issues in transactional due diligence
  • Advising clients on climate change-related disclosure issues