Private Sector Project:  Governance & Innovation

EELP conducts legal analysis of private sector initiatives to respond to climate change and other environmental challenges and propose solutions. We use research, scholarship and engagement to analyze the legal environment in which firms approach these challenges. We work on the legal and practical challenges of corporate governance related to climate risk and develop scholarship to help integrate emerging technologies with existing legal frameworks so that innovative solutions can be put to use.

EELP’s Private Sector Project is led by Staff Attorney Hana Vizcarra.

Corporations & Climate: Governance for a Changing World

Our first activity within the Private Sector Project addresses issues of liability and ESG ratings and investor concerns regarding what information firms reveal about the climate-related risks they face. We are assessing the legal and practical challenges of incorporating climate-risk into corporate disclosures. Financial entities have expressed interest in additional understanding of the impacts on companies from both long term energy transition and physical climate impacts. We brought together oil and gas sector companies, investors, and ratings and standards organizations at our first Corporations & Climate convening in November, 2018 to discuss the challenges of expanding climate-related disclosure in the oil and gas industry. We are developing scholarship on the legal questions around increasing investor demands for such disclosures in the oil and gas industry. Looking forward, we will continue to tackle the legal questions inherent in corporate governance that must balance shareholder needs, fiduciary duties, and long-term viability in the face of climate change.

Integrating Emerging Technologies

As the private sector tackles mitigation and adaptation challenges through the development of innovative technologies, societal and legal integration issues inevitably arise. Whether it is the integration of autonomous vehicles, adoption of carbon capture or negative emissions technologies, or any other technological development, climate solutions driven by private sector innovation must navigate existing and developing legal frameworks in order to reach their intended markets. We work to identify barriers to successful integration of new technologies and develop scholarship that will allow firms to navigate through those barriers.