Climate Change

"[O]ffers strong national capabilities in emergent climate change litigation and policy advice."

Chambers USA 2022

Climate change is not only a global issue but it also spans several areas of law. For that reason, Baker Botts has created a global and multidisciplinary approach to providing climate services. The Climate Change Practice includes lawyers skilled in corporate, environmental, international tax and project finance law. This group also includes lawyers from both our U.S. and international offices. Because of this depth and diversity, no climate issue is too complex.

Our experience covers every aspect of climate change. Our projects include advising clients on emerging regulatory and policy issues relating to climate change, advising on carbon-related aspects of transactions, and defending clients in legal actions based on past climate emissions, setting up international carbon investment funds and advising on compliance options under the International emission trading systems. We also help U.S. corporations develop and implement carbon regulation advocacy, compliance and litigation strategies.

In addition, Baker Botts helps clients address the myriad issues associated with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), including regulatory and permitting requirements, allocation of liability, and property rights. We helped pioneer the legal parameters for defining "pore space" for CCS, have served as an expert peer reviewer on the leading methodology for CCS for the American Carbon Registry and have helped permit the construction of one of the first carbon capture facilities for a coal-fired power plant. We also wrote the first contract provisions that legally separated the physical CO2 from its global warming potential to enable trading of sequestered carbon used for enhanced oil recovery.

Climate Torts
Baker Botts has defended clients in legal claims based on past and continued carbon emissions. These engagements include defending clients from climate tort claims brought by the City of Kivalina and the Alaskan Village of Kivalina against power, oil, and coal companies (Native Village of Kivalina, et al. v. ExxonMobil, et al., No. 09-17490) and tort claims brought by local land owners and residents affected by Hurricane Katrina against power and oil companies (Comer, et al. v. Murphy Oil USA, et al., No. 07-60756). Because of our thorough knowledge of climate law and policy and extensive experience litigating complex tort actions rooted in environmental issues, we are well suited to defend clients in legal actions associated with climate change.

Greenhouse Gas Regulation
Climate regulatory efforts are quickly accelerating at the federal, state, and international levels. Baker Botts is engaged on all fronts. For example, we are actively advising clients on stationary source, mobile source, and fuels-related climate initiatives at both the state and federal levels, and we advise on international programs such as EU regulation of renewables and fuels.

Emissions Credits and Trading
Baker Botts has extensive experience in emissions trading programs across multiple air pollutants, and continues to apply that experience in the relatively new arena of carbon credit trading and offset programs. We assist clients in developing, contracting and trading renewable energy credits in the existing markets, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the east and California’s Cap and Trade program. We help clients maximize the value of their environmental investments and to think broadly about the potential market benefits of new infrastructure and resource investments, both inside and outside the borders of the United States.

Strategic Planning Analysis and Advice
We think strategically and holistically about our clients’ compliance obligations. The lawyers at Baker Botts understand that our clients face myriad compliance obligations under a number of EPA programs, including waste, water and air. We help clients to both break down regulatory requirements to a granular level to determine what clients need to do “right now” and to think broadly about how the potential outcome of the rulemaking fits with existing compliance obligations. We want our clients to get the maximum potential benefit out of any decisions they make, whether that decision is to retire existing infrastructure or to bring on new resources.

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