International Environmental Law

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In today’s global economy, clients face environmental challenges that do not stop at the U.S. borders. We help our clients identify, understand, plan for and respond to these challenges, including issues relating to developing new projects, acquiring, operating, selling, decommissioning and shutting down facilities, product content and registration requirements, transboundary movement of wastes, cleanup obligations, environmental dispute resolution and climate change. We also help clients monitor and assess evolving international regulatory trends and regulatory regimes.

In addition to our experienced Baker Botts team, we can draw on our membership in Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms, to access local counsel in more than 100 countries. Lex Mundi independently vets local firms based on legal experience, reputation and client service and our relationship. For matters in the Americas, we also draw on the strong ties we have established with Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA), a network of law firms in the Americas with established environmental capabilities that Baker Botts helped found more than a decade ago.

Our international environmental law firm services include:

  • International Projects and Transactions: With experience on six continents, we help our clients assess environmental risks, obtain regulatory approvals, understand and comply with environmental requirements, and structure environmental terms of deals, including the allocation of known and unknown liabilities.
  • International Arbitration/Remediation: We can quickly assemble a cross-disciplinary team, including our Arbitration and Mediation lawyers from around the globe, to handle international environmental disputes, which often present additional complexities related to conflicts of law, sovereign immunity, the act-of-state doctrine, the forum non conveniens doctrine, international service and international discovery.
  • Climate Change: Our international climate change experience includes serving as legal counsel for the team performing the feasibility study for a multinational bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund, negotiating option purchase agreements for voluntary CO2 emission reduction credits, advising clients on structure and risk mitigation of E.U. allowance swap transactions under the E.U. ETS, assisting with the development of project design documents under the CDM and structuring CER purchase agreements.
  • International Compliance and Legislative & Regulatory Development: We help with challenges relating to waste management/disposal, emission of regulated air pollutants, industrial wastewater discharges, and environmental cleanup and restoration projects. Our experience includes representation of clients managing remediation liabilities in Latin America, counseling on development of carbon capture regulations in Europe and Australia and on the development of shale gas regulations on six continents.

We provide strategic advice regarding E.U. initiatives such as the European Environmental Liability Directive, the Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, and the E.U. Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.

We also support clients by working with the World Bank to provide comprehensive environmental counseling, including preparing environmental impact statements, developing guidelines for construction activities and creating regulatory air and water emission and solid and hazardous waste management controls for developing countries.

We have experience with environmental treaties and conventions, including those dealing with climate, maritime activities, hazardous chemicals, and transboundary air pollution and waste shipments.

Latin America and Caribbean Work: 
For over 50 years, we have helped clients address cross-border legal and business issues throughout the Americas, including environmental issues. We have considerable experience tracking and providing a comparative analysis of environmental law developments in Latin America for clients. The RIELA network serves as an important environmental resource and provides competent in-country environmental legal support when specific legal representation is needed.