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Energy & Climate Change

Today’s energy sector requires expertise in global geopolitics, economics and regulation; but, rather than becoming more standardised and commoditised, the sector’s pace of change is accelerating. CMS teams work across the globe to help meet the demands of climate change, technological disruption, urbanisation in developing economies, social concerns and political agendas.

Our early work in designing and implementing modern energy markets – and subsequently guiding the sector’s push to decarbonisation – means CMS is not simply a transactional or project adviser, but is ideally placed to help shape its future.

We have supported the success of our clients by recognising the sector’s growing diversity and by working actively against 'silo thinking'. We are market-leading, global advisers on:

  • Oil & gas exploration and production
  • Mid-stream activities,
  • Traditional or newer electricity generation technologies
  • Energy transition and climate change strategies
  • Energy efficiency
  • Project finance
  • M&A
  • Disputes or regulatory and commercial issues
  • Hydrogen

Thanks to our cross-sectoral knowledge and expertise, we help ensure clients receive the advice best suited to their commercial needs and to our collective future.

Get in touch with our International Energy & Climate Change team to find out more about how we can help.

CMS En­ergy & Cli­mate Change Glob­al Ex­per­i­ence
With more than 450 en­ergy and cli­mate change law­yers, in­clud­ing over 100...
24/11/2021
CMS Ex­pert Guide to hy­dro­gen en­ergy law and reg­u­la­tion
 Hy­dro­gen guide – in­tro­duc­tionThe im­port­ant role that low-car­bon hy­dro­gen will play in de­car­bon­ising our en­ergy us­age is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly widely re­cog­nised. Its ver­sat­il­ity and broad range of ap­plic­a­tions render it uniquely placed to re­duce emis
31/01/2022
Time for trans­ition: En­ergy M&A 2022
While world lead­ers have been gath­er­ing for COP meet­ings for dec­ades, what made COP26 per­haps par­tic­u­larly not­able is that the private sec­tor also gathered in force, and with a com­mit­ment and de­term­in­a­tion to be a key driver in the de­car­bon­isa­tion of the world’s eco­nom­ies.  In pre­vi­ous years, there have been mur­mur­ings from vari­ous cor­por­ates that to make so­cial or en­vir­on­ment­ally driv­en in­vest­ment de­cisions may not align with their fi­du­ciary duty to act in the in­terests of share­hold­ers. As share­hold­er act­iv­ism has driv­en the de­bate in­to board­rooms from above, this at­ti­tude is rap­idly re­vers­ing dir­ec­tion. While re­turns are gen­er­ally seen as lower in the clean sec­tor com­pared to, say, the oil & gas sec­tor, be­ing in­ves­ted in the green trans­ition is in­creas­ingly seen as a key route to pre­serving and pro­tect­ing share­hold­er value. At the same time, vol­un­tary and man­dat­ory cli­mate re­lated dis­clos­ures are align­ing the drivers for in­vestors across the board so that cap­it­al is in­creas­ingly driv­en by the met­rics they pro­duce.  This is be­ing re­flec­ted in, among oth­er things, the plum­met­ing cost of cap­it­al for green in­vest­ments. At the same time high car­bon in­tens­ive in­vest­ments, such as coal based pro­jects and busi­nesses, are strug­gling to se­cure fund­ing, with many fa­cing in­solv­ency. In­vest­ments in the en­ergy trans­ition, a key part of the green trans­ition, will prin­cip­ally take the form of M&A. The out­come of COP26 and the mo­mentum it has gen­er­ated means that European deal­makers in the en­ergy sec­tor will be even busier in 2022. Europe leads the world in the en­ergy trans­ition and the race to net zero is driv­ing near-re­cord levels of deal­mak­ing – not­ably in wind and sol­ar photo­vol­ta­ic gen­er­a­tion.At the same time, the en­ergy trans­ition is both ex­pand­ing and frag­ment­ing the en­ergy sec­tor. For many, it has tra­di­tion­ally been fo­cused on en­ergy gen­er­a­tion. The trans­ition is bring­ing to the fore less vis­ible tech­no­lo­gies. Everything from tra­di­tion­al hy­dro­power to grid-scale bat­ter­ies, elec­tri­fic­a­tion of trans­port and hy­dro­gen. It is also bring­ing in­to the mix sec­tors that have not tra­di­tion­ally been fo­cused on en­ergy, such as in­dus­tri­al de­car­bon­isa­tion, ship­ping and min­ing for the nat­ur­al re­sources needed for the en­ergy trans­ition. In par­al­lel with this, there is a huge and grow­ing story around en­ergy trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion. Elec­tri­city net­works will need to ex­pand massively to fa­cil­it­ate elec­tri­fic­a­tion and new tech­no­lo­gies. They are also be­com­ing smarter with the use of di­git­al tech­no­logy to op­tim­ise the way power is dis­trib­uted, traded and con­sumed. Fur­ther, new types of net­works may provide in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies for those look­ing for stable long term as­sets, such as hy­dro­gen and car­bon net­works.Against this back­ground, tra­di­tion­al fossil fuel-based play­ers are de­car­bon­ising their op­er­a­tions. For the oil and gas ma­jors, this means ac­quir­ing or sig­ni­fic­antly en­han­cing their cap­ab­il­it­ies in re­new­ables, in­clud­ing wind, sol­ar and hy­dro­gen, while sim­ul­tan­eously di­vest­ing se­lec­ted car­bon-in­tens­ive as­sets in re­sponse to mount­ing ESG pres­sures. This may be one of the reas­ons why 50% of re­spond­ents in our study point to dis­tress-driv­en deals as a top sell-side driver.Change is en­dem­ic in the en­ergy sec­tor, but the cur­rent trans­ition makes the years since lib­er­al­isa­tion of en­ergy mar­kets in the late 1980s seem al­most steady-state in com­par­is­on. Des­pite the mo­mentum and push for cap­it­al to be in­ves­ted in the en­ergy trans­ition, there re­main obstacles, not least the lim­ited pipeline of good qual­ity in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies, con­tinu­ing con­cerns over lock­downs and COV­ID-19 vari­ants, fin­an­cing dif­fi­culties arising from po­ten­tially un­stable long term rev­en­ue streams and di­min­ish­ing rates of re­turn. Not­with­stand­ing these chal­lenges, our study finds that en­ergy sec­tor M&A will in­creas­ingly be an en­gine driv­ing cap­it­al in­to pro­pos­i­tions that match so­cial and polit­ic­al am­bi­tions for the green trans­ition. Key find­ings  En­ergy re­mains a premi­um as­set class for most in­sti­tu­tion­al in­vestors, with its per­form­ance dur­ing the pan­dem­ic and im­petus from COP26 fur­ther en­han­cing its at­tract­ive­ness75% of en­ergy com­pan­ies are con­sid­er­ing an ac­quis­i­tion and/or di­vest­ment in 2022Along­side premi­um as­sets, in some sub­sect­ors there are un­der­val­ued tar­gets driv­ing buy-side activ­ity, with sellers shed­ding dis­tressed as­sets as the sec­tor shifts in re­sponse to the en­ergy trans­ition45% think COV­ID-19 will be a ma­jor M&A obstacle in 2022, but this re­mains a flu­id situ­ation that can change rap­idly

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22/09/2022
AI pat­ent ex­am­in­a­tion guid­lines re­leased by UK In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice
AI pat­ent ex­am­in­a­tion guidelines have now been re­leased by the UK In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice and provide ex­tremely use­ful guid­ance for pat­ent stake­hold­ers. The ex­am­in­a­tion guidelines are avail­able at...
21/09/2022
Ro­mania takes fur­ther steps in re­sponse to the en­ergy mar­ket prices
On 1 Septem­ber  2022, the Ro­mani­an gov­ern­ment pub­lished Emer­gency Or­din­ance no. 119/2022 (GEO 119) in the Of­fi­cial Gaz­ette, which amends and sup­ple­ments Gov­ern­ment Emer­gency Or­din­ance no. 27/2022 on...
20/09/2022
En­ergy stor­age trends - Spot­light on Po­land
In­tro­duc­tion Po­land has one of the fast­est grow­ing re­new­able en­ergy mar­kets in Europe. The dy­nam­ic ex­pan­sion of new RES in­vest­ments is evid­ent in both photo­vol­ta­ic and wind (in­clud­ing off-shore wind power)...
13/09/2022
Sol­ar leases in Scot­land: Sun? Scot­land? Sol­ar-ious!
Sol­ar leases are set to be­come com­mon in­struc­tions for Scot­tish trans­ac­tion­al law­yers as the move to­wards net-zero con­tin­ues. This is a pos­it­ive trend and this art­icle out­lines con­sid­er­a­tions for land­lords...
13/09/2022
Landown­ers: deal­ing with tres­pass­ers in Scot­land
The Po­lice, Crime, Sen­ten­cing and Courts Act 2022 (the “Act”) came in­to force on 28 June 2022. It gran­ted po­lice in Eng­land and Wales sig­ni­fic­ant new powers to deal with tres­pass­ers. Our col­leagues...
13/09/2022
UPC Rules of Pro­ced­ure go in­to force with judg­ments to be made pub­lic
The entry in­to force of the Rules of Pro­ced­ure is part of the fi­nal pre­par­a­tions for the United Pat­ent Court (UPC), which is cur­rently ex­pec­ted to start work in early 2023. After the bod­ies of the UPC...
08/09/2022
NSTA’s new guid­ance on Sup­ply Chain Ac­tion Plans
The North Sea Trans­ition Au­thor­ity (“NSTA”) re­cog­nised early in its ex­ist­ence that the oil & gas in­dustry’s sup­ply chain has a key role to play in sup­port­ing de­liv­ery of its Max­im­ising Eco­nom­ic...
07/09/2022
Neth­er­lands to de­vel­op na­tion­al le­gis­la­tion for the Dutch hy­dro­gen mar­ket
At this mo­ment about 165 pro­jects for green hy­dro­gen are un­der de­vel­op­ment in the Neth­er­lands, which – ac­cord­ing to TKI New Gas – is an in­crease of 25% com­pared to last year. As a res­ult, pro­ject...
05/09/2022
Oil & Gas: Con­trac­tu­al pro­tec­tions in scrap­ping de­com­mis­sioned oil as­sets...
The repu­ta­tion­al risks of de­com­mis­sion­ing as­sets have again hit the news. It is an im­port­ant re­mind­er of the im­port­ance of hav­ing the prop­er con­trac­tu­al pro­tec­tions in place when pre­par­ing to scrap de­com­mis­sioned...
01/09/2022
Po­land strengthens its gas se­cur­ity with new law
On 15 Au­gust 2022, a new act strength­en­ing Po­land’s gas se­cur­ity was signed in­to law by the Pres­id­ent of Po­land[1] (the Act). As le­gis­lat­ive amend­ments like this are par­tic­u­larly im­port­ant for state...
23/10/2022
ACC An­nu­al Meet­ing
CMS - Meet our ex­perts at booth #233 More than 70 per­cent of the world’s pur­chas­ing power is loc­ated out­side of the United States. So for US com­pan­ies, es­tab­lish­ing or grow­ing their busi­ness and in­vest­ments with their main trade part­ners – wheth­er in the UK, the European Uni­on, China, Africa or the Middle East – is es­sen­tial for their suc­cess.However, do­ing busi­ness in di­verse mar­kets, each with its unique leg­al en­vir­on­ment and ways of prac­ti­cing law, re­quires spe­cial­ist know­ledge. Our more than 5,000 law­yers world­wide provide busi­ness-fo­cused ad­vice, wheth­er in a single mar­ket or across mul­tiple jur­is­dic­tions. Our fo­cus is on build­ing long-term part­ner­ships to keep our cli­ents ahead in their chosen mar­kets.CMS is pleased to be spon­sor­ing the As­so­ci­ation of Cor­por­ate Coun­sel (ACC) An­nu­al Meet­ing from 23 - 26 Oc­to­ber in Las Ve­gas (NV). Be­low you can find an over­view of our part­ners at­tend­ing the ACC an­nu­al meet­ing, rep­res­ent­ing a range of jur­is­dic­tions, prac­tice areas and sec­tor spe­cial­isms . To ar­range a meet­ing, please con­tact events@cmsleg­al.com or vis­it us at booth #233.CMS law­yers will be par­ti­cip­at­ing in the fol­low­ing pan­el dis­cus­sions:UK-based Part­ner and Head of the CMS En­ergy & Cli­mate Change Group Mu­nir Has­san -  “Are you an En­ergy Law­yer? How En­ergy touches Every Busi­ness”CMS Bel­gi­um Part­ner Soph­ie Berg -  “In­ter­pret­ing the EU Whis­tleblower Dir­ect­ive: Key Steps to En­sure Com­pli­ance”.For more in­form­a­tion about the ACC An­nu­al meet­ing and the pro­gramme, please vis­it their web­site here.To find out more about CMS, vis­it the About CMS sec­tion.For fur­ther in­form­a­tion, please see our part­ners at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence in the gal­lery be­low and an over­view of all our ex­pert­ise areas.
19/08/2022
Turn­ing the ther­mo­stat: UK moves to reg­u­late heat 
The En­ergy Bill (the “Bill”), which was in­tro­duced to Par­lia­ment on 6 Ju­ly 2022 takes aim at provid­ing a reg­u­lat­ory frame­work to sup­port the Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to fully de­car­bon­ise heat­ing...