• Low Carbon Transition and Sustainability (LCTS)

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Low Carbon Transition and Sustainability Team

Our Low Carbon Transition and Sustainability (LCTS) team collaborates with energy, commodities and shipping companies to implement the transition to a sustainable and low carbon future.

The global economy is changing to meet the needs of society in a more sustainable manner whilst significantly reducing carbon emissions. Energy and commodities play a significant role in this transition. As a specialist law firm focused exclusively on the energy, commodities and shipping sectors, we have developed a strategy and the in-depth knowledge to allow use to assist our clients who are at the forefront of the energy transition. 

Not only do we have the relevant legal expertise, each of us in the LCTS team is passionate about supporting the transition to a sustainable and low carbon future. We love the outdoors and care deeply about the natural world. We also have a unique, in-depth insight into the ways in which different market participants are implementing policy objectives. This includes from the perspective of utilities, oil majors, energy companies, commodity traders, shipping companies and end-users. The core pillars of our LCTS practice are:

  • Contractual Provisions: Drafting sustainability assessment provisions and frameworks for contracts. Creating sustainable contracts for the commodities, energy trading and shipping sectors to assist with meeting emissions reduction targets. 
  • Sustainable Commodities: Advising on trading, finance and investments in connection with biofuels, biogas, biomass, sustainable agricultural commodities, LNG, hydrogen low carbon transportation and shipping, renewable energy, sustainable metals, metals used in low carbon technologies and carbon emissions.
  • Cross Border Legal Project Management: As energy, commodities and shipping companies adjust to meet the demand of a low carbon future, we assist in to implementing projects for the trading of new commodity products and/or in new jurisdictions including related legal due diligence and contract drafting.
  • Disputes: Drawing on decades of experience in assisting clients with the legal disputes arising from the trading of ‘traditional’ commodities, including firefighting of operational issues and international arbitration in connection with contractual disputes across the energy, commodities and shipping sectors. 

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Recent Matters

The Mercatis LCTS team have assisted clients on the following matters: 

  • Drafting a buy side and sell side Green Gas (Biomethane) Sale and Purchase Agreement, one of the first to be used in the European market.
  • Drafting a Green Certificates Sale and Purchase Agreement for the purchase of BioGas under the Green Gas Certification Scheme Rules.
  • Advising on the full value chain of a sustainable bio-fuels business for an international energy trader.
  • Drafting ROC, LEC and REGO sales and purchase agreements.
  • Assisting a European energy utility with a £150m+ tender for the sale in the UK of green energy and similar renewable source certification products (ROCs, LECs & REGOs) produced by a large portfolio of offshore wind farms.
  • Assisting with the establishment of an Energy as a Service’ business model for a state owned European utility including drafting bespoke contracts and binding heads of terms.
  • Conducting due diligence on grid connection issues for a portfolio of small solar parks across the UK.
  • Advising a biofuels trader in respect of a tolling agreement for the production of biofuels.  
  • Advising a biofuels trader in connection with damage and losses arising from leaking containers of used cooking oil. 
  • Acting on an international arbitration under SIAC rules in connection with a joint venture dispute relating to the performance of wind turbines at wind farms in India. 
  • Advising on the construction and sale of marine plastics recovery ships to buyers in the Asian market.
  • Advising on a new environmental solutions business to market and distribute oil spill recovery systems in the Asian market.
  • Advising in relation to sourcing green debt finance for the construction of a new build vessel powered by LNG, wind and solar.
  • Advising on UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism emission reduction projects and the generation of certified emission reduction credits in various developing countries.

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Thought leadership from Mercatis Law

Our latest low carbon transition and sustainability insights

An Introductory Guide for New Market Participants in Trading of Carbon Credits and Offsets

This article gives an outline of the compliance and voluntary carbon markets, the differences between carbon credits and offsets, developments in the exchange-traded markets, as well as recent market initiatives. Its aim to provide a helpful introduction for in house lawyers, compliance professionals and other relevant functions who may be new to these markets.

Is It time to Include Carbon Emissions Reduction and Sustainability Obligations in Commodities and Energy Contracts?

Many energy companies and commodity producers, shippers and traders have made pledges to reduce carbon emissions and operate more sustainably.
In this article we consider some of the contractual tools that may be used to assist companies in meeting their carbon emissions reduction and sustainability targets. 

The New UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS)

The UK has launched its post-Brexit “cap and trade” carbon trading system called the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS). This client alert briefly summarises the new policy framework in which the UK ETS will operate, identifies the sectors to which it will apply and considers the trading documentation used to trade UK ETS allowances (UKAs).