Corporations & Climate Change:  Private Sector Governance & Innovation

The Private Sector Project analyzes trends in private sector responses to the clean energy transition and physical risks of climate change. The work we do identifies emerging areas of friction as the private sector wrestles with the impacts of climate change, whether legal and regulatory reforms or rising seas. We analyze the key challenges to turning aspirations and commitments into actionable policies and identify opportunities for near-term progress within existing legal frameworks.

We engage with industry, regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to resolve legal choke points and communicate the results of our work. We also interact with a broader audience through engagement with the media and our online platforms.

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

Current Projects

Climate-Related Disclosure and Risk Management

Climate change impacts have become more evident, triggering concern and calls to action among individuals, governments, and the private sector alike. This has impacted the investor-company relationship. Shareholders increasingly view information about the risk climate change poses to individual companies as critical to their investment decisionmaking, influencing corporate disclosure practices and legal requirements. Financial institutions are also coming to terms with their potential exposure to climate-related risks, resulting in additional pressure for substantive, climate-related disclosure.

Click here to see our corporate disclosure and financial risk management work.

The Future of Energy Production

As the energy industry grapples with the energy transition and physical impacts of climate change it must also evolve. Offshore energy has long been dominated by oil and gas operations limited in geographic scope. But rapidly expanding offshore renewables, a new push to expand oil and gas development in federal waters, and revisions to rules for leasing and operations are raising new legal questions. Companies are also considering how they will compete in a carbon-constrained world and whether they can adjust their strategies to take advantage of new opportunities.

Click here to see our work on the future of energy production.

Legal Dilemmas Rising with the Seas

Shifting coastlines and more intense storms are changing our relationship with the ocean. These and other climate change impacts require novel applications of law and consideration of new fact patterns. Existing legal frameworks can constrain policy responses and limit our ability to address climate change impacts like sea level rise. Legal barriers may prevent individuals, companies, and governments from acting to protect communities and the economy; and actions taken can trigger liabilities and equity concerns. EELP is building a body of work on the legal issues that arise as our communities face new challenges in their relationship with the seas. Our work analyzes legal questions related to sea level rise, managing ocean resources, and how climate change impacts our relationship with the ocean. This includes work that informs private sector actors about risks to operations and development plans.

Click here to see our sea level rise and oceans work.