Climate change is no longer a buzz word – it’s a fact of life, and of business. Businesses, shareholders, stakeholders, government, environmentalists, power producers and consumers across the globe participate in various ways to reduce their environmental footprint while looking for new options to create or lessen their dependence on traditional energy sources.

As one of the first firms in Canada to practice Climate Change law, DLA Piper is at the forefront of this emerging area. Our lawyers have a wide variety of Canadian and international experience ranging from regulatory compliance to project finance. We also have expertise in areas of renewable energy including wind energy, run-of-river hydro, LULUCF (land use, land use change and forestry), biomass and fuel-cell industries. We help clients navigate the evolving world of climate-change regulation and unlock opportunities in an increasingly carbon-constrained economy.

Regulation and Compliance

Concerns regarding global warming are reshaping the business landscape. Initiatives at the provincial, federal and regional level have, or soon will, impose significant emissions compliance obligations on companies operating in Canada. At the same time, these initiatives may create opportunities for forward-thinking businesses that are in a position to capitalize on the new regulatory regime. Financial regulators are also placing increased emphasis on the disclosure of environmental risks posed by climate change and investors are scrutinizing such risks more closely. We can help you identify the potential impact of climate change initiatives and regulation on your business, highlight new business opportunities or potential risks, evaluate compliance options and prepare for future developments. 

Carbon Finance

The sale of carbon credits and the leveraging of the resultant revenue stream is a powerful new tool for financing projects that help mitigate climate change. A complement to traditional sources of project finance, carbon finance can boost rates of return and make environmentally beneficial projects economically attractive. Our advisors can help you identify carbon finance opportunities, structure projects to create carbon credits, and negotiate contracts to maximize the value of those credits to your organization. 

Renewable Energy

The drive to diversify the energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with restructuring in the electrical utilities sectors, have led to new opportunities for renewable energy. Renewable energy replaces conventional fuels in four distinct sectors: (1) power generation, (2) hot water and space heating, (3) transport fuels and (4) rural (off-grid) energy. In Canada, federal and many provincial governments have begun supporting renewable energy initiatives due to environmental and multinational trade pressures. Several provinces have started to aggressively source renewable energy supplies and encourage the development of renewable energy technology. Companies respond by investing in a broader portfolio of generating facilities and technologies. Our Renewable Energy Group works with developers, investors, financiers, land owners, contractors, suppliers and facility operators to assist them in achieving their business objectives within any renewable energy sector. 


Cleantech encompasses a broad asset class of new technologies driven by the demand for cleaner and more efficient economic production processes that address environmental concerns. Chief sectors include energy generation, storage, infrastructure, water and wastewater, transportation, advanced materials, agriculture and waste management. We assist cleantech companies with mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, intellectual property, government relations and regulatory affairs, as well as business models and corporate strategies. 

Comprehensive Services

We provide a comprehensive range of services to address business, legal and regulatory needs, maximize investment value and manage project risk including: 

  • Project planning and finance
  • Organizational structuring
  • Emissions trading
  • Acquisition and sale of energy production facilities
  • Construction of energy facilities
  • Operations, management and maintenance service
  • Grid interconnections
  • Financing, including venture equity, debt and public issues
  • Regulatory proceedings and licensing
  • Drafting power purchase and sale agreements
  • Environmental issues
  • Land use and rights of way
  • Intellectual property in energy technologies
  • Taxation issues
  • Government incentive programs
  • Employment matters
  • Immigration and work permit applications
  • Green building and community development