Climate Change & Emissions Trading

Key Contacts

Barrett Michael High Resolution Image Mike Barrett
Partner, Co-Head of Power & Renewable Energy Practice Group, Co-Head of Climate Change & Emissions Trading Practice Group
T: 416.777.4657
McInerney, Thomas Thomas W. McInerney
Partner, Co-Head of Climate Change & Emissions Trading
T: 403.298.4484

Climate change and environmental stewardship are critical business issues that involve multiple stakeholders, policies and jurisdictions. From understanding the need to mitigate environment-based risks to seeking green and sustainable opportunities in day-to-day operations and business transactions, climate change has reached the top of business agendas everywhere.

The Bennett Jones climate change and emissions trading group combines business acumen with global experience and leading knowledge in this complex practice area. Our extensive experience spans continents, industries and levels of government, with our lawyers often at the forefront of world-wide climate change and carbon emissions trading, transactions and policy developments. Our clients include leading energy companies (both renewable and traditional), carbon funds, carbon offset originators and aggregators, clean technology companies, private equity firms and project developers operating around the globe.

Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to our work, we help clients address the strategic, business and financial issues affected by global climate change action. We counsel boards of directors and senior management on issues related to corporate governance and disclosure, renewable energy strategy, confronting, responding and adapting to evolving regulatory structures, planning for and reacting to director, officer and enterprise liability concerns, and dispute resolution.

We understand the specific challenges that early-stage clean technology face, having successfully helped many innovative companies through key early-stage milestones like financing, corporate planning, tax planning and intellectual property establishment.

We are also conversant with the complexities of carbon finance. Although the carbon offset and emissions trading markets are still relatively new, our lawyers are already known internationally for their experience in advising clients in industry and the financial sector on the use of the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, the proposed Canadian and US regulatory arrangements, the existing Alberta regulations and voluntary offset production, trading and use. This includes assisting with the purchase of greenhouse gas emissions reduction credits including CERs under the Kyoto Protocol clean development mechanism, ERUs under the joint implementation Kyoto Protocol mechanism and offsets in both compliance-based and voluntary markets, and documenting the creation, trade and use of NOx, SO2 and other environmental credits.

By seamlessly bringing together a cross-section of the firm's core areas of expertise – including expertise with commercial transactions, financing, regulatory issues, energy and natural resources, renewable resources, major capital projects, corporate governance, international and trade, real estate, technology, environmental, tax, litigation, and intellectual property – we provide informed, responsive and comprehensive service to clients as they deal with global climate change and other market-based environmental risks and opportunities.

Select Experience

  • SkyPower Wind Energy Fund LP, in connection with the sale of its Terrawinds wind energy project near Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec and related assets for approximately $300 million.
  • An international carbon emissions broker, in connection with a Clean Development Mechanism transaction involving the purchase and sale of over $1 billion in certified emissions reductions (CERs).
  • Acted for a project owner in the sale of 65,000 tonnes of carbon offset credits created by an Alberta wind project.

Recent Recognitions

  • 2014, Chambers Global The Worlds Leading Lawyers for Business

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Climate Change
  • 2013, Chambers Global The Worlds Leading Lawyers for Business

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Climate Change (Band 1)

Recent Publications

News & Speaking Engagements

Blog Posts