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Clean Energy, Environment & Climate Change

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With more than 450 lawyers in 75 offices across the globe, our Energy & Climate Change Group is one of the largest of its kind.

It was founded on ground-breaking work designing and implementing modern energy markets and making them fit for purpose, which now involves reshaping them to meet the demands of the energy transition to a decarbonised economy, renewable power and the various responses to the climate crisis.

From advising on climate change strategy, new technologies, risk and disputes, sustainable finance, environmental regulation, corporate net zero strategies and major infrastructure projects, we advise our clients globally, operationally and strategically.

With respect to climate change, the group’s work focuses primarily on the following areas:

  • Renewable power
  • Carbon capture, use and storage
  • Hydrogen
  • Corporate net zero strategies
  • Sustainable finance
  • Electric vehicles and decarbonisation of the transport sector
  • Circular economy
  • Energy transition
  • Industrial decarbonisation
  • Environmental regulation
  • Waste management
  • Energy efficiency

The work encompassed by our Energy & Climate Change Group is wide-ranging and across most parts of CMS’s practices, geographies and sectors.

Our lawyers work closely with our clients to ensure that the solutions we develop are commercially sound and legally compliant. They advise on financing and optimising structures from a tax perspective as well as help manage environmental risks and liabilities and resolve conflicts.

Thanks to the combination of our local expertise with our international perspective and our cross-sectoral knowledge, we help ensure clients receive the advice best suited to their business needs and to our collective future.

Please contact any of our ESG lawyers to explore solutions to your needs.


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15/06/2022
The former Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue work­ing as an in­de­pend­ent law...
On 15 June 2022, the former Mo­scow of­fice of the in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS an­nounces the start of work as an in­de­pend­ent law firm un­der the new brand name SEAM­LESS Leg­al.Over 80 col­leagues of the Mo­scow of­fice con­tin­ue work­ing as one team, led by Man­aging Part­ner Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire and Seni­or Part­ner Le­onid Zubar­ev.We keep ad­vising our cli­ents across all 23 prac­tices and sec­tors: We lean on 30 years of ex­pert­ise and an im­pec­cable repu­ta­tion as part of an in­ter­na­tion­al law firm. We have al­ways abided by strict pro­fes­sion­al stand­ards and will con­tin­ue provid­ing ser­vices of the highest qual­ity. Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire, Man­aging Part­ner: “We are proud of hav­ing been able to cre­ate and pre­serve a united team with a friendly cor­por­ate cul­ture and re­spons­ible at­ti­tude to our busi­ness.”Le­onid Zubar­ev, Seni­or Part­ner: “Our new brand SEAM­LESS Leg­al most ac­cur­ately re­flects the ap­proach to work that has de­veloped over the years in our firm – in­teg­rity and co­her­ence, im­pec­cab­il­ity, con­tinu­ity and un­in­ter­rup­ted sup­port to our cli­ents at any time."
01/06/2022
Sakhal­in car­bon ex­per­i­ment law to come in­to force on 1 Septem­ber 2022
The leg­al frame­work for the pos­sible mod­el of car­bon reg­u­la­tion in Rus­sia has been es­tab­lished in a Fed­er­al Law* ad­op­ted on 6 March 2022 (the “Law”). This mod­el will be tested dur­ing the ex­per­i­ment in the Sakhal­in Re­gion from 1 Septem­ber 2022 to 31 Decem­ber 2028.The main goal of the ex­per­i­ment is to achieve car­bon neut­ral­ity in Sakhal­in by the end of 2025.The ap­proved car­bon man­age­ment mod­el will likely be ex­ten­ded to oth­er re­gions of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion if the ex­per­i­ment proves suc­cess­ful.Main pro­vi­sions of the LawThe Law in­tro­duces quotas for green­house gas emis­sions as a new in­stru­ment for car­bon reg­u­la­tion and as the basis of the ex­per­i­ment.A quota is defined as a cer­tain amount of al­low­able green­house gas emis­sions an­nu­ally set by the com­pet­ent body for reg­u­lated com­pan­ies, based on an ap­proved meth­od­o­logy, to achieve car­bon neut­ral­ity. The re­gion­al gov­ern­ment will ap­prove the list of such com­pan­ies.If a com­pany ex­ceeds the es­tab­lished quota, it will be charged at rates that the Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment will ap­prove. On the con­trary, if the quota for the ac­count­ing year is met, units of ful­fil­ment of the quota in an amount cor­res­pond­ing to the dif­fer­ence between the es­tab­lished quota and the ac­tu­al mass of green­house gas emis­sions will be cred­ited to the ac­count of the or­gan­isa­tion in a spe­cial re­gister.Sub­sequently, the com­pany may cred­it such im­ple­ment­a­tion units to its ac­count in the re­gister to meet its as­signed quota or the com­pany may trans­fer them to an­oth­er en­tity for which they are ne­ces­sary to meet its own quota. In this way, the pre­requis­ites for the emer­gence of a mar­ket for trad­ing in quota im­ple­ment­a­tion units are cre­ated.In ad­di­tion to quotas, the Law en­vis­ages oth­er mech­an­isms to reg­u­late emis­sions and ab­sorp­tion of green­house gases:• An in­vent­ory of emis­sions will be made once a year at the re­gion­al level.• Reg­u­lated or­gan­isa­tions will have to con­duct man­dat­ory car­bon re­port­ing.• Eco­nom­ic and fin­an­cial mech­an­isms that stim­u­late emis­sion re­duc­tions will be es­tab­lished. They may be real­ised in the form of tax cred­its for reg­u­lated or­gan­isa­tions or sub­sidies for the re­im­burse­ment of pro­duc­tion costs.Com­mentsIn con­trast to the pre­vi­ously ad­op­ted fed­er­al law on lim­it­ing green­house gas emis­sions (which we re­por­ted on earli­er), the Law stip­u­lates stricter reg­u­la­tion of green­house gas emis­sions and ab­sorp­tion in the ex­per­i­ment­al area through quotas.Even though im­ple­ment­ing reg­u­la­tions provided for by the Law in fur­ther­ance of its pro­vi­sions have yet to be en­acted, the rules the Law cre­ates are already a bold step for­ward in the cli­mate-change agenda.However, in the cur­rent cir­cum­stances, the suc­cess­ful im­ple­ment­a­tion of the ex­per­i­ment with­in the an­nounced time­frame raises le­git­im­ate con­cerns. It is very likely that, by the time the Law comes in­to force in Septem­ber 2022, the plans for the ex­per­i­ment will have to be sub­stan­tially re­vised due to the need to real­loc­ate budget­ary re­sources for oth­er needs.* In Rus­si­anCo-au­thored by Elena Foteeva, Paralegal in Real Es­tate.
03/11/2021
CMS Rus­sia at the con­fer­ence ded­ic­ated to ESG in Rus­sia and France
On Oc­to­ber 26, 2021 the Franco-Rus­si­an Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry (CCI France Russie), Nor­nick­el and the Na­tion­al Coun­cil on Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance with the sup­port of the French Em­bassy in Rus­sia held an ESG con­fer­ence. French and Rus­si­an reg­u­lat­ors, fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions and in­dus­tri­al cor­por­a­tions dis­cussed the pro­spects and chal­lenges of the new ESG real­ity. The event brought to­geth­er ex­perts from high-pro­file com­pan­ies and or­gan­isa­tions in­clud­ing France Dip­lo­matie, the Bank of Rus­sia, VEB.RF, Mo­scow Ex­change, Ros­bank, Gazprom­bank, Boiron, Schneider Elec­tric, La­farge­Holcim, Saint-Gobain, etc.Olga Odint­sova, Coun­sel and Head of New Busi­nesses and Product De­vel­op­ment at CMS Rus­sia, mod­er­ated a ses­sion on en­vir­on­ment­al re­spons­ib­il­ity and busi­ness ef­fi­ciency and a ses­sion on ESG rank­ings in Rus­sia and France.The En­vir­on­ment­al, So­cial & Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance agenda has firmly rooted in the glob­al eco­nomy to elim­in­ate in­equal­ity and en­sure ef­fi­cient use of nat­ur­al re­sources. Green com­pan­ies that com­ply with ESG cri­ter­ia get easi­er ac­cess to in­ter­na­tion­al in­vest­ments, while busi­nesses not com­mit­ted to ESG prin­ciples are find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to get ac­cess to such in­vest­ments. Read the full event re­port on the web­site of the Franco-Rus­si­an Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry. 
01/11/2021
Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia
This is the new edi­tion of the CMS Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia guide. 
19/08/2021
The Re­new­able En­ergy Law Re­view 2021
After years of be­ing con­sidered an 'oil-and-gas coun­try', Rus­sia now has an ex­pand­ing re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor fol­low­ing a re­cent spate of for­eign in­vest­ment and the in­stall­a­tion and con­struc­tion of sev­er­al re­new­able en­ergy pro­jects.Read the Rus­sia chapter if the Re­new­able En­ergy Law Re­view 2021, pre­pared by Thomas Heidemann, Part­ner at CMS Rus­sia, and Dmitry Bog­dan­ov, Seni­or As­so­ci­ate at CMS Rus­sia. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the re­new­able en­ergy in­dustry.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in Au­gust 2021.
03/08/2021
The En­ergy Reg­u­la­tion and Mar­kets Re­view 2021
Rus­sia’s vast geo­graphy is an im­port­ant de­term­in­ant of its eco­nom­ic activ­ity. It has the world’s largest proven nat­ur­al gas re­serves and acts as the largest ex­port­er of nat­ur­al gas. It is also the second-largest ex­port­er of pet­ro­leum. Enorm­ous en­ergy re­sources en­able pro­du­cers to gen­er­ate elec­tri­city in thermal, hy­dro and nuc­le­ar power plants and by us­ing gas, oil and coal.Read the Rus­sia Chapter of the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tion and Mar­kets Re­view 2021, pre­pared by Thomas Heidemann, Part­ner at CMS Rus­sia, and Dmitry Bog­dan­ov, Seni­or As­so­ci­ate at CMS Rus­sia. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the en­ergy in­dustry, in­clud­ing elec­tri­city sec­tor, oil and gas sec­tor, re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in June 2021.
22/04/2021
En­vir­on­ment, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­new­ables
In this chapter of Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia, we dis­cuss the fol­low­ing as­pects of cli­mate change is­sues in the coun­try: en­vir­on­ment­al reg­u­la­tions, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency re­quire­ments and the re­new­ables sec­tor.