Climate Change / Sustainability

California has taken a highly active role in regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The result is that state and local greenhouse gas laws are constantly changing. Therefore, it is critical to find a law firm that works with these issues every day, and tracks all of the key legal developments. Mitchell Chadwick does precisely that.

California’s ambitious greenhouse gas laws affect a wide range of our clients, from large to small. We love helping our clients navigate the constantly-evolving legal requirements associated with greenhouse gas emissions. We counsel clients in many economic sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, agriculture, food production and distribution, and mining.

We routinely work on the following issues:

  • Developing greenhouse gas analysis and mitigation strategies for developers.
  • Helping entities comply with California and federal greenhouse gas reporting and reduction rules, including AB 32.
  • Anticipating where state and federal agencies are heading in developing their greenhouse gas law and policy.
  • Representing client interests in workshops held by the key regulatory agencies, including the California Air Resources Board.
  • Creating innovative, cost effective and real carbon mitigation strategies and offsets.
  • Litigating greenhouse gas related claims under the California Environmental Quality Act.
  • Identifying tax and business opportunities in carbon markets.
  • Identifying greenhouse gas mitigation measures and finding ways to create greenhouse gas reduction offsets.
  • Handling climate change business planning.

We represent established private and public companies, investors, developers, landowners, not-for-profit entities, and emerging companies backed by venture capital or other private equity.

Our clients include:

  • Residential developers
  • Geothermal developers and owners
  • Wind energy project developers and owners
  • Solar energy project developers and owners
  • Food processors and distributors
  • Mining companies
  • Farms
  • Trade groups and industry associations
  • Pipeline developers and owners
  • Venture capital investors and companies
  • Oil and gas extraction developers
  • Petroleum distributors
  • Manufacturing facilities

Mitchell Chadwick attorneys help companies develop strategies to address greenhouse gas emissions and impacts while ensuring that the companies and their projects remain viable. The following are some specific examples of the work done by our Greenhouse Gas and Climate Change Practice group:

Issues Leadership

Because greenhouse gas issues often affect more than just the companies we represent, but affect our community at large, we get called upon by regional and trade organizations to address the broader implications of the business of greenhouse gas regulation.

With fossil energy generation companies, we are involved with state commissions and non-governmental organizations on California’s greenhouse gas legislation.

Some representative work includes:

  • Provided the legal support necessary for a precedent-setting approach to quantifying and analyzing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial projects.
  • Continuously advise clients with updates in greenhouse gas law.



We represent a wide array of private entities proposing development projects, including mining projects, commercial and residential developments, industrial land uses and transportation projects. We have the expertise to tackle the toughest greenhouse gas issues that may be encountered in the permitting process.

Some representative work includes:

  • Helped an oil and gas companies permit a viable drilling program that satisfies the requirements of AB 32 and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Assisted project developers with project designs that can minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce mitigation requirements.
  • Assisted mining project applicants with developing greenhouse gas reduction measures.
  • Assisted mining project applicants with quantifying greenhouse gas impacts from construction and operations.
  • Helped a mining project applicant analyze the amount of greenhouse gas sequestration lost by removing trees from a mining property.



Our attorneys routinely work with the latest greenhouse gas emissions reporting and compliance requirements, including the Mandatory Reporting Regulation, the AB 32 Cap and Trade Program, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and other greenhouse gas compliance requirements.

Some representative work includes:

  • Advised large industrial and commercial operations included in phase one implementation of the draft greenhouse gas reporting regulations on their obligations and potential upcoming liability for greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Developed legal guidance for wood products industry association to assist its members in complying with AB 32.
  • Helped renewable energy project developers ensure their projects qualify under the California Renewables Portfolio Standard.
  • Helped agricultural client develop approaches for quantifying the quantity of greenhouse gas sequestered by orchard trees.


Enforcement and Litigation

Given the constantly-evolving nature of California’s greenhouse gas law and policy, it is difficult for companies to always ensure that they comply with all applicable legal requirements. Our attorneys provide the best legal representation possible to ensure that our clients are in compliance with greenhouse gas related laws. However, when disputes arise, we also have the expertise to defend our clients from greenhouse gas related enforcement actions and litigation.

Some representative work includes:

  • Assisted clients with developing legally-defensible greenhouse gas significance thresholds under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Defended a mining project from CEQA challenges to the project’s greenhouse gas emissions analysis.
  • Assisted industrial and commercial business owners with potential enforcement issues.