Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure

  • As the overarching business issue of our time, climate change has implications for every industry everywhere. Holland & Knight's Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure Team understands the bigger picture, combining decades of legal experience with a solid grasp of intersecting science, technology, regulatory, business, politics and social justice issues.
  • Our interdisciplinary team includes experienced and knowledgeable lawyers and professionals trained in environmental, energy, governmental advocacy, compliance, litigation, land use, climate adaptation and sea level rise, and water law matters at the local, state and federal levels, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
  • Holland & Knight remains at the cutting edge of regulatory developments in California, which leads the nation in adapting to climate change and setting standards for the corporate world.
Climate Change


Everything we do has an impact on the climate – and as the United States undergoes an unprecedented clean and renewable energy transition, it never has been more important to incorporate environmental considerations into business operations.

Holland & Knight's Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure Team understands this on a holistic level, having played a role in developing key climate change law and policy. Our attorneys and professionals are leading the way in deciphering how an economy moves to carbon neutrality without negatively impacting communities, industries and infrastructure.

Our team provides legal and policy solutions for each client, enabling them to not only comply with evolving regulations and mitigate risks but also proactively adapt to a changing climate and use resources efficiently and responsibly. This strategic approach reduces costs, maintains and strengthens brands and reputations, and fosters innovation and competitive advantage over the long term.

We understand how regulatory agencies operate and interact because our attorneys have served within and alongside them for decades, actively developing and shaping climate and sustainability laws and policies at the international, national, state and local levels.

Holland & Knight has a distinct grasp of emission sources and the range of energy solutions, such as solar, onshore and offshore wind, oil and gas, hydrogen and clean fuels, due to our strong nationwide reputation and experience in the energy sector.

Our areas of focus include:

  • agriculture
  • alternative fuels
  • biodiversity and endangered species
  • carbon capture, utilization and storage
  • climate conscious contract provisions
  • corporate disclosures
  • electrification
  • energy transition
  • environmental, greenwashing and other climate change litigation
  • environmental health and safety compliance
  • environmental policy and advocacy
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations
  • ESG
  • green financing
  • hydrogen project development
  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
  • mobile sources of air pollution
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state law equivalents
  • net zero, carbon neutrality and climate disclosure
  • offshore wind
  • real estate projects, green building and land preservation
  • renewable fuels
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations
  • solar project development
  • sustainable aviation fuel
  • water law
  • wind project development

Regulatory Compliance, Policy and Advocacy

Environmental regulations and legislation are having profound and wide-reaching effects on the U.S. and global economies, as the energy transition has moved to the center of the congressional agenda. National, state and regional agencies are also rapidly crafting laws and regulations resulting in a series of climate change-related mandates, with California often leading the way.

Holland & Knight's Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure Team assists clients from coast to coast in evaluating potential risks and rewards associated with climate policies and whether they are subject to these regulations. From the IRA and NEPA to state laws such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), our attorneys have a thorough understanding of existing and emerging climate change policies.

We have extensive experience in lobbying, rulemaking, compliance and enforcement issues and maintain established working relationships with key decision-makers in the legislative and executive branches of federal and state governments.

Our global practice also provides corporate compliance and environmental health and safety counseling. We help businesses, organizations and educational institutions to devise and improve environmental operational strategies, and we counsel corporate clients on emerging opportunities, including carbon emission credit trading programs, green technologies, green financing, greenhouse gases (GHG) reporting and claims, benchmarking claims, ESG metrics and reporting, and trading corporate and public statements and grant monies to retrofit existing operations.

California Footprint

Crucial to remaining at the forefront of U.S. environmental law is having a strong presence in California, which leads the nation on climate change policy with the strictest laws and most rapidly evolving legislation.

Holland & Knight's hands-on experience with the most advanced policies and scientific innovations ensures that our attorneys are best positioned to help clients nationwide.

Our California-specific experience includes:

  • helping clients comply with CEQA
  • advising clients on compliance with California's new climate disclosure laws
  • navigating California's cap-and-trade program, low carbon fuel standard and other carbon neutrality goals
  • assisting companies in analyzing and reducing emissions from trucks, ships and trains, as well as assisting with the transition to electric vehicles in accordance with state legislation
  • representing clients in court to challenge port emission control regulations relating to California's carbon neutrality goals
  • assisting clients with renewable energy facility siting and permitting, including use of offshore wind, and mitigating emissions for new and expanding industrial, commercial and residential development projects
  • working with developers and businesses to build infrastructure that supports electric vehicle charging stations
  • representing clients in sea level rise and other climate-related litigation

Energy Project Development

Unprecedented opportunities exist for energy projects amid the nationwide energy transition. The lawyers and professionals on our Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure and Energy teams are intimately familiar with the myriad legal issues underpinning energy development projects, including due diligence, business law matters, real estate transactions, tax credits and equity investments, land use and environmental permitting.

We also assist our clients with renewable energy credits, power purchase agreements, energy performance contracting, construction contract negotiation and drafting, environmental permitting and regulatory programs, and issues surrounding the siting of renewable and transitional energy projects on brownfields and other contaminated sites. Our experience includes structuring agreements and developing energy projects for Indian tribes, as well as performing federal appropriations and lobbying work for renewable energy projects on behalf of businesses and government entities.

Land Use and Green Building

As companies increasingly pursue development projects with a focus on sustainability and mitigating climate impacts, Holland & Knight's Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure Team counsels clients in need of project analysis in accordance with NEPA and state law equivalent reviews. Our lawyers handle permitting and litigation regarding land use entitlements and the legality of environmental review documents, including the sufficiency of climate change analysis in environmental assessment documents. We are also experienced in water supply assessment requirements, which are managed by climate change policy and a necessary component in many land use projects.

We have represented clients developing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings and multiple other projects designed to qualify for LEED certification, and we assist developers in identifying and maximizing federal, state and local incentives for green buildings. We also counsel clients on energy benchmarking and disclosure requirements, including local building energy performance standards.

Our attorneys and professionals counsel clients in the fields of sustainability, transit and land preservation as they relate to planning and development. We regularly assist clients in securing federal funding for transit projects, as well as with associated NEPA and state equivalent reviews, environmental permitting issues and local land use matters.

Greenwashing Mitigation

Holland & Knight has established a multidisciplinary Greenwashing Mitigation Team, which helps companies reduce marketing risks related to references of sustainability, recyclability, recycled content, renewable energy, carbon offsets, energy efficiency, organic products, composability and biodegradability.

Our lawyers and professionals have extensive experience with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Green Guide, and we advise clients on fulfilling SEC requirements for accounting and reporting the impacts of climate change on their businesses.

Our team is adept at navigating the legal components of ESG considerations and the logistics of applying them to business practices.

Water Resources

Climate change is having a tremendous impact on water resources, and users are faced with short supplies and rising costs. Purveyors and government entities must be prepared to adjust how they manage and utilize this natural resource.

Our Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure and Water Law teams offer clients guidance on how to adapt to the changing amounts and forms of precipitation, irregular temperatures and variance in flood patterns. We have extensive experience in alternative water supply issues, such as surface water storage, reclaimed water recycling, and aquifer storage and recovery, as well as increasingly more stringent stormwater retention requirements. Our lawyers and professionals are committed to developing the innovative water solutions that climate change necessitates.

Biodiversity and Endangered Species

As climate change law continues to develop, it is likely to trigger increasingly complex biodiversity issues related to project development.

Our Climate Change, Sustainability and Disclosure Team counsels a wide range of government entities and businesses on species-related federal and state regulations and regularly advises clients on the implications of projects potentially impacting the habitats of listed species. Our team is experienced in the negotiation of complex habitat conservation plans and biological opinions necessary to protect clients from liability while ensuring the successful completion of projects.

Case Studies


Cracking Down on Carbon Markets: CFTC and FTC Exercise Heightened Scrutiny
Podcast - Cracking Down on Carbon Markets: CFTC and FTC Exercise Heightened Scrutiny
sound waves
Are Environmental Laws Undermining Environmental, Social, and Economic Progress?
voluntary carbon markets media still
Podcast – Voluntary Carbon Markets: The Road Ahead
EOW State Low Carbon Fuel Standards Ep Media Still
Podcast: A Deep Dive into State Low Carbon Fuel Standards
EOW State Cap Trade Still
Podcast - Cap-and-Trade Programs: A Primer for 2023
Podcast: An Update on the General Energy and Climate Legislative Landscape
COP27 In Review: It Takes a Village
Podcast - COP27 in Review: It Takes a Village
sound waves
Energy Companies Weigh New Rules for Tax Credit Boosts (Podcast)
Realizing Carbon Capture Projects: Deal Structures, Government Incentives, Financing Options (Including Direct Pay) and Other Key Issues
Realizing Carbon Capture Projects: Deal Structures, Government Incentives, Financing Options (Including Direct Pay) and Other Key Issues
sound waves
To Declare, or Not to Declare, a Climate Emergency, That Is the Question
sound waves
The Evolution of Climate-Impact Blended Finance for the Caribbean
A Discussion with the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Green Finance and its New Domestic Financing Program
A Discussion with the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Green Finance and its New Domestic Financing Program
sound waves
Adjusting for Climate Change: Clean Energy Tax Proposals
ESG: Legal Disclosure Requirements and Regulations
U.S. Capitol Building lit up at night
Podcast: The Successes and Value of the Loan Programs Office with Jonathan Silver
Podcast: Trade Policy Challenges to U.S. Infrastructure Goals
Podcast: Trade Policy Challenges to U.S. Infrastructure Goals
Clean Energy Podcast Pt. 1 Still Image
Podcast - Clean Energy, Part 1: Opportunities
American flag and European Union flag with speakers headshots on Zoom
Transatlantic Review: Trade, Taxes and Climate
The Eyes on Washington Podcast: Hot Topics in Energy
Podcast - Electric Vehicles Roll Out, Clean Tech Legislation Stuck in Neutral
Zoom screenshot of presenters
ESG: Calculating Carbon Emissions for Financiers and Investor Assessment and Reporting
Zoom recording with play button
Election 2020: Potential Impacts Series - Energy and Environment
Zapata Energy Transition still
Madrid Energy Conference: Energy Transition Curtain-Raiser
sound waves
Land Use Law and the Idea of California
State Report Says California Won’t Meet its Climate Goals Because of Too Much Driving. What Are the Alternatives?
State Report Says California Won’t Meet its Climate Goals Because of Too Much Driving. What Are the Alternatives?
Update on USDA's 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
Update on USDA's 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
Policy Minute: Energy Finance Opportunities with the Government
Policy Minute: Energy Finance Opportunities with the Government


Upcoming Events

News and Headlines