Climate Change, Carbon Markets and Environmental Finance

Our clients benefit from the hands-on experience our team has in the energy market.

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, together with corporate and voluntary sustainability initiatives create legal risks and potential early mover advantages, and Osler’s expertise has allowed its clients to navigate the growing complexity of financial and regulatory instruments and measures supporting Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy

Our Climate Change and Carbon Finance practice draws on deep, firm-wide expertise in regulatory and environmental issues, commercial transactions, securities, commodities and derivatives trading, infrastructure and project finance, tax and constitutional law to provide the 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 those in respect of: Canada’s Federal Output Based Pricing System (OBPS); Alberta’s Technology, Innovation and Emission Reduction (TIER) program; the Western Climate Initiative (WCI); Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR) compliance credit markets; the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) and various state and regional Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) and voluntary renewable energy and renewable thermal credit markets in the U.S. and Canada.

We advise and represent businesses and organizations working in numerous industries in the areas of regulatory compliance and carbon credit transactions. Through firsthand experience working in compliance and voluntary markets for environmental commodities in Canada and internationally, we also provide counsel concerning risks and opportunities in relation to derivatives trading regulation, consumer protection, taxation and international trade issues associated with sophisticated transactions and investment opportunities in these markets and products.


Our expertise in carbon finance is comprehensive and includes the following areas:

  • climate change and emissions regulatory compliance
  • commercial transactions for renewable-energy and thermal credits (or certificates) and emissions-trading markets, carbon offsets, allowances and CFR compliance credits, carbon capture credits and voluntary emission reductions
  • regulatory and environmental assessment approval process
  • litigation related to climate change impacts
  • clean tech
  • power purchase agreements for both emitting and non-emitting technologies
  • taxation for commodity and credit transactions
  • disclosure obligations for required annual disclosure and securities filings

Key Contacts

Sander Duncanson

Partner, Regulatory, Indigenous and Environmental, Calgary

Richard J. King

Partner, Regulatory, Indigenous and Environmental, Toronto

Jacob A. Sadikman

Partner, Commercial, Toronto

Representative Work

Environmental Credit Commercial Matters

  • Canada Growth Fund Inc. (the CGF) in its connection with its carbon credit offtake agreement and $200 million strategic investment in Entropy Inc., the CGF’s first major transaction in the Canadian carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) market.
  • General Motors Canada Company in connection with voluntary emission reduction commercial agreements and transactions in fleet vehicle carbon credits under Canada’s Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations.
  • Potentia Renewables in connection with the sale of Alberta TIER system carbon offsets from its Wheatland Wind farm to Imperial Oil.
  • Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) of Ontario in connection with the establishment and administration of the Ontario Clean Energy Credit Registry, operated by M-RETs and in respect of the sale of Ontario Clean Energy Credits.
  • Generate Capital / StormFisher Environmental on all aspects of its Ontario biogas infrastructure assets including renewable natural gas offtake agreements, power purchase agreements and CFR compliance credit matters.
  • Northland Power in respect of commercial offtake agreements in relation to its renewable energy and battery storage projects in Alberta.
  • Scotiabank in respect of its procurement of renewable energy credits from the Spring Coulee solar farm in Alberta
  • A major global brewer in its procurement of renewable energy from a wind farm in Alberta in support of specific commercial advertising campaigns and corporate reporting objectives.
  • Ontario-based industrial purchases and sales of surplus federal OBPS credits prior to the start of the Ontario Emission Performance Standard in 2022.
  • EnCana Corporation in its application for a pilot carbon capture and sequestration project.
  • 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.


Regulatory compliance

  • Several major natural resource developers, fuel suppliers and renewable energy developers across Canada concerning all aspects of compliance with existing and emerging climate change legislation, including the TIER system in Alberta and the federal Clean Fuel Regulations, as well as advising on climate change issues in the context of environmental assessment and regulatory approvals.
  • Major energy and manufacturing companies on disclosure obligations for climate change and potential legal implications of greenhouse gas management regimes.
  • Advising multiple global commodities trading platforms in connection with offering contracts and services in Canadian emissions markets.
  • Advising multiple compliance and marketing and trading clients in connection with Ontario emission allowances under the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018 (Ontario).



  • Advised a variety of industry clients regarding climate change litigation risks, including class actions.
  • Major international resource developer defending against an appeal of a regulatory refusal to revoke project authorization based on alleged failure to meet greenhouse gas commitments.


Latest Insights

  • Blog Jun 10, 2024

    No property, no investment: Koch Industries’ carbon allowances not an ‘asset’ under NAFTA

    The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) recently released its highly anticipated decision in Koch Industries, Inc....

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    No property, no investment: Koch Industries’ carbon allowances not an ‘asset’ under NAFTA
  • Osler Update May 3, 2024

    BC Hydro’s request for proposals reinforces foundation for Indigenous participation in clean energy future

    We address the actions taken by power authorities across Canada to encourage Indigenous participation in new energy-generating projects.

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    BC Hydro’s request for proposals reinforces foundation for Indigenous participation in clean energy future
  • Blog Oct 25, 2023

    California’s new ‘Climate Accountability Package’

    California’s legislature recently passed two bills that impose significant mandatory climate-related reporting requirements for large public and...

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    California’s new ‘Climate Accountability Package’
  • Blog Aug 16, 2023

    Government of Canada releases draft Clean Electricity Regulations aimed at achieving net-zero emissions from Canada’s electricity grid by 2035 – Obligations for electricity generators

    The federal government has released draft regulations designed to limit carbon emissions produced by electricity generated using fossil fuel.

    Read more
    Government of Canada releases draft Clean Electricity Regulations aimed at achieving net-zero emissions from Canada’s electricity grid by 2035 – Obligations for electricity generators
View all Insights
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In the Media

  • Media Mentions Apr 14, 2022

    Carbon capture credit on the right path, but falls short: Brad Wall – BNN Bloomberg

    Osler Special Advisor and former Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall appeared on BNN Bloomberg to discuss the new carbon capture tax credit unveiled in ...

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  • Media Mentions Aug 4, 2020

    Canada’s new greenhouse gas rules set stage for startup software battle – Callaway Climate Insights

    With the Canadian federal government imposing strict new rules governing methane emissions from oil and gas wells and calling for exact emissions meas...

    Read more