Climate Change and Emissions Trading: Overview

Governments and industry are mobilizing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and these efforts present both risks and opportunities for businesses. Rapidly developing federal and provincial regulatory regimes create legal complexities and potential early mover advantages, and Osler’s expertise has allowed its clients to navigate the growing regulatory risk exposure and thrive.

Our Climate Change and Emissions Trading practice draws on deep, firm-wide expertise in regulatory and environmental issues, commercial transactions, securities, commodities trading, infrastructure and project finance, tax and constitutional law to provide precisely the kind of strategic advice our clients need. Our clients benefit from the hands-on experience that our team has in emissions trading and renewable energy credit trading markets, such as the European Emissions Trading System (ETS).

We advise and represent numerous industries in the areas of regulatory compliance and emissions credit transactions. Through firsthand experience working in the Emissions Trading System, we also provide counsel concerning risks and opportunities from emissions credit derivative products, as well as taxation and international trade issues associated with sophisticated transactions.


Our expertise is comprehensive and includes the following areas:

  • Climate change and emissions regulatory compliance
  • Commercial transactions for renewable energy credits (or certificates) and emissions trading markets
  • Regulatory and environmental assessment approval process
  • Litigation related to climate change impacts
  • Clean Tech
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Taxation for commodity and credit transactions
  • Disclosure obligations for required annual disclosure and securities filings


Pre-eminent Business Law Firm

Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business quotes clients as saying that Osler has a team of “amazingly diverse and dynamic lawyers who totally understand clients' needs.”

Regulatory and Aboriginal

Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business notes that Osler’s “strength in environmental and aboriginal matters is extremely helpful for regulatory work.”


Osler is ranked as top tier for Energy: Oil & Gas by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business which notes that the Energy Practice Group at Osler is “considered ‘among the strongest for energy in Canada.’ ”


Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers notes that this “team ‘lives and breathes tax’ ” while clients declare Osler “ ‘one of the best tax departments in North America.’ ” Osler was also named the 2008 “Tax Litigation Firm of the Year” by the International Tax Review.

International Trade and Investment Law

Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranks Osler as “Top Tier” in the area of International Trade, noting that “this corporate powerhouse continues to make its presence felt with a trade practice that is considered to be one of the market’s pioneers.”