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Environmental Law, Climate Change & Sustainability         Practice Group


Cleantech Law Partners is a leader in advising clients on environmental law and climate change matters.  Our attorneys help clients navigate the complex landscape of federal, state, and international environmental laws and climate change standards.  We have experience representing alternative energy companies, government entities, and nonprofit organizations.


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Areas of Expertise:

Representative Matters:


• Winning a May 2011 court order to stop dredging in wetlands on the coast of California

• Advising on c ompliance with public utilities laws in South Dakota

• Analyzing climate change regulations overseas

• Drafting contracts for up to $60 million to sell RECs and energy

• Analyzing litigation exposure of solar plants on federal lands

• Successfully negotiating to protect parklands from development in San Francisco

• Advocating to protect old-growth redwoods in Northern California

• Analyzing land-use issues related to transmission lines for alternative energy


• Advising an international organization on the establishment and implementation of several of its carbon funds and drafting of emission reduction purchase agreements for renewable energy projects under those funds.


• Assisting developing countries with capacity building in relation to developing domestic legal capacity, domestic projects, and training the local private sector in the CDM project development cycle and cap and trade.


• Advising on international, regional, provincial, and domestic climate legislation and policy.


• Assisting investment banks on the purchases of ERUs, CERs and VERs and advising investments in CDM projects.


• Advising European compliance buyers on the operation and quantitative limits on CER/ERU use in different EU member states.


• Advising a European industrial operator on CER/EUA swaps and swap options with European utilities and financial institutions.


• Conducting research related to the legal title of carbon credits on land subject to claims by a First Nation or First Nations (Canadian Aboriginal communities).


    • Instructing on project development and special concerns present when dealing with indigenous populations and populations lacking sophisticated market capacity.


• Assisting with the representation of a community renewable energy organization to propose  a rulemaking expanding regulating carbon to include all GHGs listed under the Kyoto Protocol.


• Advised an Australian electricity retail corporation on Australia’s proposed ETS and submitted comments to the Department of Climate Change.


• Provided legal and business advice to launch the sale of tradable RECs as a new product for an Australian electricity retail corporation and drafted and negotiated contracts providing for the sale.


• Advising Pacific Island Small States at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen (December 2009).


• Teaming with a trade organization to create and implement a Sustainability Task Force to evaluate all issues associated with the organization’s internal sustainability its 135 full-time employees, serving its 17,500 members, and occupying a building of over 60,000 square feet.


• Advising and assisting a commercial entity in the process of planning, prioritizing, and implementing sustainability:  setting up a sustainability policy and sustainability team, obtaining energy audits and third party certification, and exploring potential for solar photovoltaic renewable energy alternative.


• Consulting a small rural coastal municipality in energy and sustainability issues, including identifying funding opportunities for this work.


• Educating dozens of rural community members in investor-owned and consumer-owned electric utility territories, including incentives available according to the renewable energy resource potential.


• Leading local government and private persons from the Oregon coast to tour a Washington coastal community wind facility and educating them on renewable energy in their environment.


• Forming the first B corporation law firm with offices in Oregon


• Assisting successful private entities in the fashion and land development industries in promoting sustainability according to their corporate needs, including formation, nonprofit support, and representation in administrative matters to resolve issues where current regulation does not fit current state policy.


• Tracking sustainability litigation to evaluate whether to support and participate in climate change actions impacting a local jurisdiction.


• Assisting an environmental organization in Madagascar in writing up for publication to facilitate sustainable marine fisheries and relations between traditional fishermen and commercial shrimp trawlers.


• Advising a commercial fish processing plant, a key municipal water user, in identifying innovative opportunities to save water in processes and applying for funding to pay for education and capital infrastructure improvements.  Also identifying and facilitating a win-win supplemental environmental project providing $11,000 to support local watershed council efforts to educate youth through watershed restoration field work, appraising property for conservation, and funding water quality monitoring.



For more information, please contact James Birkelund, environmental@cleantechlaw.com, or call 866.233.8064