Latham’s pioneering global climate change practice advises clients of all sizes, on all sides of a transaction, and across all jurisdictions on a full complement of matters related to climate change. With a team of more than 40 lawyers, we have helped our clients drive the development of carbon markets, develop and respond to evolving regulatory regimes, and seize opportunities at the leading edge of finance to address the challenge of climate change.

We have helped clients — from manufacturers and energy companies, to technology startups and leading investment banks — look ahead to understand how market challenges or increased regulation can become market opportunities and competitive advantages. We draw on an impressive history of foresight. We worked on environmental commodity markets in the late 1980s and established the first dedicated climate change law practice in 2008, years before most other firms. Now we advise on the largest, most significant, and most innovative climate change transactions in the world.

Carbon Credit Transactions

Our lawyers structure, negotiate, and advise clients in connection with environmental product transactions and matters worldwide. We draw on more than two decades of experience with all types of environmental commodities and virtually all transaction structures (spot and forward offtakes, put and call options, exchanged-traded futures, prepays and repos, financings, swaps, carbon funds). And we draw on insight gained from our work helping draft several industry trading documents, including the California Emissions Trading Master Agreement by the International Emissions Trading Association. More recently, we have helped pioneer the tokenization of carbon credits.

Participation in Carbon Markets

We advise major oil companies as well as commodity trading firms on the creation of international carbon allowance trading and carbon offset origination desks.  We also advise financial services clients on their participation in carbon markets globally, including voluntary and compliance carbon markets.

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage, and Hydrogen Projects

Latham leads the market in advising clients on CCUS projects and transactions globally, including regarding enhanced oil recovery, sequestration, utilization, and direct air capture. We work on all facets of CCUS and hydrogen projects, from pore space acquisition, permitting, and environmental credit monetization to carbon transportation, sale and purchase, and injection agreements. 

NetZero, Carbon Neutrality, and Climate Disclosure

We advise emerging, private, and public companies on comprehensive climate strategy, from setting greenhouse gas reduction targets to disclosure standards to scenario analysis and developing a framework to meet corporate targets. We draw on a longstanding track record of helping clients develop corporate climate strategies, that anticipate and respond to both regulatory developments and market complexities.

Renewable Fuels

We provide innovative solutions to investors, refiners, producers, developers, and technology companies on low carbon fuels, from renewable diesel and natural gas to hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel. Our market-leading low carbon fuels practice offers unmatched experience with international regulatory frameworks, such as the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program, and the regulatory frameworks in China. We provide market participants up-to-the-minute advice as programs change, new low-carbon fuel programs emerge, and monetization opportunities evolve.

Sustainable Finance

Our award-winning sustainable finance practice routinely works on tens of billions of dollars of sustainable finance transactions globally every year, including SEC-registered and unregistered deals, and those governed by other major legal regimes. As the only law firm to serve on the ICMA Green Bond & Social Bond Principles Advisory Council since its inception and a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Shaping Sustainable Finance Policy Working Group, we work at the forefront of the sustainable finance movement.  

Offset Protocol Development

We help clients develop offset protocols, from the initial concept note to final board approval and project listing, and draw on considerable successful experience with different protocols. We also represent clients when issues arise in connection with the listing of projects or the issuance or invalidation of offset credits.

Carbon Pricing and Environmental Market Advocacy

We help clients engage with governments, policy makers, the judiciary, and regulators on carbon regulation matters, from Europe to China to the US. In the US, we represented industry in the negotiation of RECLAIM, the acid rain program, and California’s renewed cap-and-trade program.

Forestry and Soil Carbon

We advise on forestry and soil carbon projects and transactions, including landmark projects to prevent deforestation, as well as afforestation projects, and developing the leading soil carbon methodologies.

Emission Reduction Projects

We develop and negotiate carbon credit projects, ranging from electric vehicle charging station deployments to low-carbon retrofits in the built environment to cookstoves and dairy methane capture and combustion. We advise on all aspects of project implementation, including commercial agreements, environmental credits, and coordination of projects to meet corporate ESG commitments.

Climate Change, Green Washing, and Related Litigation

We help clients navigate climate change litigation, including court action concerning climate targets, challenges to energy and infrastructure projects, vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards, and litigation under carbon regulatory frameworks. We navigate applicable compliance provisions at the international, national, state, and federal levels.

Climate Issues in China and Asia

We have long advised clients on environmental and climate issues in China and other Asian jurisdictions. Latham worked with the Environmental Law Institute to establish the China International Business Dialogue on Environmental Governance (CIBDEG) to facilitate dialogue between multinational businesses and Chinese environmental regulatory authorities. Latham also helps clients navigate and invest in China’s carbon markets, including the national emissions trading scheme (ETS) program and various local pilot ETS program, as well as carbon markets in Korea and other Asian countries, including through participation in the IETA China Working Group.
Latham & Watkins advises clients on how to respond to existing climate change regulations, laws, and litigation, shape the development of new policies, and capitalize on market and investment opportunities. The Climate Change Practice provides clients an integrated and effective combination of litigation representation, creative transactional advice, and policy advocacy before multiple government agencies.