Response and adaptation to climate change has moved from a debate about society's impact upon the environment to a significant economic and environmental challenge for industry. Sustainability and efficiency imperatives present both opportunity and risk, requiring innovative and informed legal solutions.
HWL Ebsworth's Climate Change and Sustainability Group comprises a national team of specialists in energy, environment, finance, infrastructure, planning, property and resources who deliver commercial, whole of sector solutions in response to the rapidly evolving legal and regulatory framework.
We have an in depth understanding of the legislative schemes underpinning the emerging Carbon Tax, market trading mechanisms relating to NGERS, RECs, GECs, NGACs, MRETs, voluntary products in regulated and non-regulated markets, compliance and regulatory issues in project planning and implementation, contractual drafting requirements and market operation mechanisms.
We work with our clients to adapt to climate change policy and regulation, commercially realise water security and supply in line with policy reform initiatives, facilitate renewable energy projects, implement climate change adaptation strategies and ecologically sustainable development principles, negotiate green energy contracts including planning, construction and monitoring of green building and infrastructure projects (Green Star, NABERS), green leases and rating benchmarks, respond to the climate change issues arising in relation to development and infrastructure projects and seize opportunities to manage risk in the emerging carbon trading markets.
Our relevant experience includes acting on the following matters.
- Pro Ventum International: Peter Dreher is advising Pro Ventum International on Thepasthit, Subyai and Chaiyaphum Wind Farm Projects (280MW), Thailand - development, corporate and related legal work; negotiating preliminary development funding arrangements.
- NewEn Australia: Peter Dreher is advising NewEn Australia on the Dundonnell Wind Farm Project - corporate, development and development financing legal work. Peter is also advising on related wind farm projects to be developed totalling 600MW (Wingeel, Salt Creek and Church Lane wind farm projects) (all Victoria, Australia).
- Sale and Purchase of RECs, NGAC's and Gas Electricity Certificates: Andrew Bruton has advised major electricity generators and electricity distributors on the sale and purchase of RECs and NGACs, and on some of the first forward sale and purchase arrangements for Gas Electricity Certificates prior to the commencement of relevant amendments to the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld).
- Voluntary Market for Trading of Permits: Andrew Bruton has advised on complex structuring arrangements for aggregation of NGACs and voluntary permits and broking agreements to facilitate the trading of NGACs and other green products on the National Stock Exchange of Australia for a client participating in the carbon market.
- John Holland\Ipswich Cogeneration Joint Venture: Acted on behalf of the John Holland Joint Venture bidding for the construction of the Ipswich based Cogeneration Green Power facility. The power station was to be a green power station fired by rubbish and recycled tyres. Our project team developed the tender with our assistance and analysed risk reward. We were involved in final settling of the tender. We understand that our joint venture was in a prime position to win the tender, unfortunately the project was cancelled because of political issues associated with it.
- ESD initiatives: Advising on strategic planning and implementation of ESD initiatives for the development of a new township in the Tweed Valley Hinterlands. Due to the remoteness of the location, utilities and services has to be self sustaining and water supply secured by storm water capture and harvest, integrated water reclamation and recycling within an ecologically sensitive environment.
- Coastak hazard management and planning: Advising industry and local government sectors in respect of the NSW state government overhaul of coastal hazard management and planning including implications for risk exposure and liability in the face of climate change, individual hazards, policy response, natural resource management and regulatory compliance.
- Commercial building: Advising on the acquisition, completion and occupation of commercial building stock in Melbourne and Sydney CBD’s. Preparing and negotiating Nabers and green star rating manuals, leases and regulatory compliance documentation.