Climate Change and Emissions Trading


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

Examples of climate change matters in which our lawyers have advised follows:

Compliance and Emissions Trading

  • Mid-stream company in respect of the acquisition of off-set credits.
  • Major petrochemical company and various manufacturing sector clients in relation to their emissions credit purchase and trading matters, including assessing anticipated regulatory regimes, developing and negotiating risk and cost-sharing arrangements.
  • Major well-service company seeking to create and/or modify emissions quantification protocol and participate in Alberta and federal climate change regulatory regimes.
  • Chemical manufacturing, oil and gas, asset managers, electronic marketplace, industrial suppliers and purchasers of steam, CO2 and energy sector clients on the regulatory requirements to provide emissions trading products and services and climate change and environmental attributes considerations in the context of commercial transactions.
  • Major energy and manufacturing companies on disclosure obligations for climate change and potential legal implications of greenhouse gas management regimes.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Several major natural resource developers across Canada concerning all aspects of compliance with existing and emerging climate change legislation, as well as advising on climate change issues in the context of environmental assessment and regulatory approvals.


  • Major international resource developer defending against an appeal of a regulatory refusal to revoke project authorization based on alleged failure to meet green house gas commitments.
Related Expertise
  • EnCana Corporation

    EnCana Corporation in its application for a pilot carbon capture and sequestration project.

Environmental, Regulatory and Aboriginal

The following international and Canadian surveysprominently feature lawyers in our Environmental, Regulatory and Aboriginal team, identifying them as leading lawyers: Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers; The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; The Best Lawyers in Canada and Benchmark Canada.


Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers ranks Osler in Band 1 for Energy: Oil & Gas, as well as naming several lawyers as leading individuals. The publication quotes clients as saying that the Energy practice team at Osler is “smaller than some of the other Calgary firms but their expertise is exceptional,” and they "are the best of the best for technical ability."


Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers ranks our Tax Group in Band 1, and quotes a client saying that our tax lawyers are "the leaders on the street with respect to litigation."

World Tax (by International Tax Review) recognizes Osler as Tier 1 in its annual survey.

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory places Osler in the first tier of Canadian tax advisors.

The Best Lawyers in Canada lists Osler in the top tier for Tax Law in Canada.

International Trade

Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers ranks Osler as a leading firm in international trade, and names leading individuals as highly rated.