Climate change adaptation and the legal profession
To coincide with the publication of the EU White paper on adaptation, the Legal Sector Alliance worked with Ecofys, a specialist climate change and energy consultancy, to develop a series of nine briefing notes outlining the key concepts of climate change adaptation for different sectors, and the relevance of new and emerging policy and best practice in this area.
The objective of the briefing note series is to prepare legal practitioners for developments in climate science which will inform what can be considered reasonably foreseeable and help lawyers understand the impacts of climate change on their own businesses and key client groups.
Most policy, action and debate on climate change to date has been concerned with mitigation - limiting the severity of the long term consequences by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, adaptation recognises that regardless of any action we might take, some degree of climate change and an increase in extreme weather events are already inevitable due to our past emissions.
The adaptation notes were produced with expert input from LSA members Burges Salmon, Martineau, Bond Pearce, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and DLA Piper.
Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said:
"The LSA is responding to emerging policy and science affecting the legal profession and its clients and is offering support with a series of practical tools. Climate change litigation alongside extreme weather events are likely to become more prevalent in the coming years. Solicitors need to be prepared to take the risks of climate change into consideration when advising clients. Those who do so quickly will be well placed to take advantage of the opportunities .'
Vanessa Havard-Williams, Chair of the LSA's Policy Working Group, said:
'The LSA recognises the importance of addressing adaptation as well as mitigation in responding to the challenges of climate change. We are seeking to inform the legal profession of the relevance of new and emerging policy and best practice in this area, across a number of different sectors. Working with Ecofys, our members have developed briefing notes outlining key adaptation issues for different sectors, relevant policy and legislation as well as case studies to highlight leading adaptation strategy.'
Read further comment by Vanessa Havard-Williams
Read the adaptation notes:
Legal profession and adaptation
Adapting to climate change
Property and adaptation
Financial sector and adaptation
Utilities and adaptation
Agriculture and adaptation
Local government and adaptation
Transport and adaptation