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Energy & Climate Change

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With more than 450 energy and climate change lawyers, including over 100 partners, the CMS Energy and Climate Change practice is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Led from its centres of excellence such as London and Aberdeen, the practice works across 75 offices globally. Our early work in designing and implementing modern energy markets and subsequently guiding the sector in the push to decarbonisation means CMS is not only a transactional or project adviser to the sector, but uniquely placed to help shape its present and future.

The modern energy sector requires specialist legal advisers attuned to global geopolitics, economics and regulation. But as the sector has matured, rather than become more standardised and commoditised, the pace of change is accelerating. When the energy sector found itself on the frontline of decarbonisation, CMS guided the sector through this new landscape. CMS teams now work in every corner of the sector across the globe to help it meet the demands of climate change, technological disruption, urbanisation in developing economies, social concerns and political agendas.

We have supported the success of our clients by recognising the sector is ever more diverse 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, finance, M&A, disputes or regulatory and commercial issues. Thanks to our cross-sectoral knowledge and expertise, we make sure clients receive the advice best suited to their commercial needs and to our collective future.

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CMS En­ergy & Cli­mate Change Glob­al Ex­per­i­ence
January 2020
En­ergy Trans­ition: Evol­u­tion or Re­volu­tion?
The en­ergy trans­ition is upon us – Greta Thun­berg and Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion con­tin­ue to gen­er­ate more head­lines than Green­peace and, in Europe at least, there is sig­ni­fic­ant so­ci­et­al pres­sure to move from fossil fuels to re­new­able or al­tern­at­ive sourc
15 May 2020
CMS Ex­pert Guide to re­new­able en­ergy law and reg­u­la­tion
You can down­load our ded­ic­ated "Re­new­ables guide" pdf from here.In­tro­duc­tion This guide in­cludes con­tri­bu­tions from some of the most act­ive re­new­ables law­yers in the sec­tor across the globe. What it shows is that the re­new­ables in­dustry re­mains in a

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28 September 2020
GDPR En­force­ment Track­er Re­port
1st edi­tion 2020All EU Mem­ber States have been re­quired to ap­ply the Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion ("GDPR", Reg­u­la­tion (EU) 2016/679) since 25 May 2018. After a cau­tious ini­tial peri­od, the EU data pro­tec­tion au­thor­it­ies ("DPA") have in­creased their fin­ing activ­ity sig­ni­fic­antly. This GDPR En­force­ment Track­er Re­port aims to provide you with valu­able in­sights in­to the fin­ing activ­it­ies of all EU DPAs un­der the GDPR, as well as the ICO's prac­tice in the United King­dom. Our ana­lys­is is based on the pub­licly avail­able data on fines that we col­lect and com­pile at www.en­force­ment­track­er.com. We in­tend to pub­lish an­nu­al edi­tions of this re­port, and we ex­pect that the rel­ev­ance of in­sights will stead­ily in­crease as more data on fines be­comes avail­able.Over­view, coun­try and sec­tor ap­proachIn search of guid­ance on how to op­tim­ise its own data pro­tec­tion strategy and pri­or­it­ise data pro­tec­tion meas­ures, a com­pany will nat­ur­ally want to look at its peers and the com­pet­ent au­thor­it­ies' prac­tice. This holds true both in terms of busi­ness sec­tors and jur­is­dic­tion. Kick­ing off with an over­all sum­mary on the ex­ist­ing fines ("Num­bers and Fig­ures"), we have cor­res­pond­ingly di­vided the fines in­to the fol­low­ing busi­ness sec­tors and con­sidered the re­spect­ive fines' ori­gins:Fin­ance, in­sur­ance and con­sultingAc­com­mod­a­tion and hos­pit­al­ity­Health careIn­dustry, com­merce and real es­tate­Media, tele­coms and broad­cast­ing­Pub­lic sec­tor­Trans­port­a­tion and en­ergy­In­di­vidu­als and private as­so­ci­ation­sEm­ploy­er­sY­our takeawaysThe in-depth ana­lys­is per­mits first con­clu­sions to be drawn as to which busi­ness sec­tors at­trac­ted par­tic­u­larly hefty fines. We have also ana­lysed the DPAs' reas­on­ings for the fines. These as­pects to­geth­er al­low us to provide you with key takeaways for each busi­ness sec­tor. Apart from the law­ful­ness of each data pro­cessing op­er­a­tion, bol­ster­ing data se­cur­ity should re­main in the spot­light for every or­gan­isa­tion. Lit­ig­a­tion in data pro­tec­tion is set to in­crease in the near fu­ture. Or­gan­isa­tions that main­tain up-to-date se­cur­ity meas­ures will be best pre­pared for the fu­ture and for po­ten­tial lit­ig­a­tion.
02 July 2020
ICAO agrees to ad­just COR­SIA baseline for CO2 emis­sions for avi­ation in...
On 30 June 2020, the Coun­cil of the In­ter­na­tion­al Civil Avi­ation Or­gan­iz­a­tion (ICAO) ad­op­ted a de­cision ad­just­ing the peri­od to be used as the baseline for meas­ur­ing the growth of CO2 emis­sions un­der...
28 September 2020
Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive
China’s Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive (BRI) con­tin­ues to evolve, of­fer­ing new op­por­tun­it­ies for na­tions, com­munit­ies and busi­nessesIt is now ex­pli­citly aligned with many areas that are in­creas­ing pri­or­it­ies for in­ter­na­tion­al busi­nesses, such as ESG prin­ciples and sus­tain­ab­il­ity. But in 2020 it faces un­pre­ced­en­ted head­winds, in­clud­ing the glob­al pan­dem­ic and trade dis­putes.As a lead­er in many Belt and Road sec­tors, CMS has polled and in­ter­viewed over 500 BRI par­ti­cipants around the world, about their cur­rent think­ing on BRI and the pro­spects they see for it.This ma­ter­i­al is the found­a­tion of our new re­ports on BRI, cov­er­ing top­ics such as:The im­pact of Cov­id-19 on BRID­if­fer­ent views of BRI among Chinese and in­ter­na­tion­al par­ti­cipant­s­Joint ven­tures and part­ner­shipsProb­lems ex­per­i­enced in BRI pro­ject­s­Key risks and risk mit­ig­a­tion­BRI dis­pute res­ol­u­tion and ar­bit­ra­tionESG, sus­tain­ab­il­ity and BRI­Belt and Road 2.0The Di­git­al Silk Road  and the Health Silk RoadThe pro­spects for BRI after 2020Our find­ings from China are avail­able now and Asia-Pa­cific will fol­low soon. Re­ports on Cent­ral and East­ern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Lat­in Amer­ica will be pub­lished in the com­ing months.me­di­um me­di­um me­di­um me­di­um me­di­um me­di­um 
11 June 2020
EU ad­justs COR­SIA baseline for CO2 emis­sions for avi­ation to 2019 only...
On 9th June 2020 the Coun­cil of the EU (the “Coun­cil”)ad­op­ted a de­cision to amend its po­s­i­tion on the peri­od to be used as the baseline for meas­ur­ing the growth of CO2 emis­sions un­der the Car­bon Off­set­ting...
28 September 2020
BRI - View from China
The Belt and Road Ini­ti­at­ive (BRI) con­tin­ues to evolve. Its par­ti­cipants are in­creas­ingly look­ing to meet the trends of the fu­ture. Af­ford­able pro­jects, em­bra­cing mod­ern tech­no­lo­gies and meth­ods, as well the “open, green and clean” ap­proach of BRI 2.0, will of­ten be those that stand the greatest chance of suc­cess – a point un­der­lined by China’s re­cently an­nounced tar­get for car­bon neut­ral­ity and Pres­id­ent Xi Jin­ping’s call for a green re­cov­ery of the world eco­nomy.But how are the un­pre­ced­en­ted dif­fi­culties of 2020, in­clud­ing the glob­al pan­dem­ic and trade dis­putes, af­fect­ing the pro­spects of BRI?Wel­come to the first of a series of re­ports that as­sess the chal­lenges for BRI and the steps that BRI par­ti­cipants can take to achieve both suc­cess for them­selves and a pos­it­ive fu­ture for BRI. This re­port is in­ten­ded primar­ily for a Chinese read­er­ship and is there­fore avail­able in both Eng­lish and Chinese.The re­port ex­am­ines:Why Chinese par­ti­cipants in BRI are more gen­er­ally pos­it­ive about it than non-Chinese par­ti­cipants, and how this may be re­solved.The ef­fects of Cov­id-19 on BRI, and new en­thu­si­asm for the Health Silk Road.How to mit­ig­ate BRI risk and man­age dis­putes.Po­ten­tial trends in the fin­an­cing of BRI pro­jects.The im­pact of BRI 2.0.
26 May 2020
Oil & Gas: De­liv­ery without bills of lad­ing
In Trafigura Mari­time Lo­gist­ics Pte Ltd v Clear­lake Ship­ping Pte Ltd & An­or; and Clear­lake Ship­ping Pte Ltd v Pet­ro­leo Brasileiro S.A. [2020] EWHC 995 (Comm) the Com­mer­cial Court dealt with the ar­rest...
31 July 2020
An­nu­al Re­view 2019 – 2020
We are liv­ing in tur­bu­lent times, char­ac­ter­ised by polit­ic­al, cli­mate and health crises. The most acute of these – the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic – has clearly shown how in­ter­con­nec­ted our eco­nom­ies are: travel, com­merce and sup­ply chains world­wide have been im­pacted. No in­di­vidu­al or busi­ness has re­mained totally un­af­fected by it.As a glob­al or­gan­isa­tion, with a pres­ence in key busi­ness hubs around the world, we are wit­ness­ing the im­pact of the pan­dem­ic firsthand. Our teams in Asia, Europe, Africa and Lat­in Amer­ica are help­ing cli­ents deal with this un­pre­ced­en­ted situ­ation. Un­fold­ing in dif­fer­ent in­tens­it­ies in dif­fer­ent parts of the world at dif­fer­ent times, our teams are in the for­tu­nate po­s­i­tion of be­ing able to con­nect with and learn from each oth­er. This en­ables us to sup­port our cli­ents in a mean­ing­ful way, listen­ing to and un­der­stand­ing their con­cerns and provid­ing them with busi­ness-rel­ev­ant ad­vice that draws on in­sights from our ex­perts world­wide.In this crisis, we, as a so­ci­ety, are at a cross­roads. What is cer­tain is that for in­di­vidu­als and busi­nesses (ours in­cluded) there will be no ‘back to busi­ness as usu­al’. Things need to (and will) change. How we shape the ‘new nor­mal’ is up to us. In this An­nu­al Re­view, we look at some key de­vel­op­ments that are in­creas­ingly im­pact­ing busi­ness suc­cess. Com­pan­ies need to take these in­to con­sid­er­a­tion when ad­apt­ing their op­er­a­tions to the new busi­ness en­vir­on­ment.The months ahead will be chal­len­ging for us all. Busi­nesses will need to think stra­tegic­ally and po­s­i­tion them­selves for suc­cess in the new nor­mal. We at CMS see it as our task to guide our cli­ents through this chan­ging busi­ness land­scape.Mat­thi­as Licht­blau (Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or) Pierre-Sé­bas­tien Thill (Chair­man) Duncan We­st­on (Ex­ec­ut­ive Part­ner) CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
05 May 2020
Oil & Gas: Con­trac­tu­al pro­tec­tions in scrap­ping de­com­mis­sioned as­sets 
Every year hun­dreds of ves­sels and oil rigs are sold to ship­break­ing yards in South Asia, which in­clude some of the busiest break­ing yards in the world (more than 70% of ships sold for scrap end their...
29 July 2020
CMS En­ergy & Cli­mate Change Glob­al Ex­per­i­ence
With more than 450 en­ergy and cli­mate change law­yers, in­clud­ing over 100 part­ners, the CMS En­ergy and Cli­mate Change prac­tice is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Led from its Lon­don centre of ex­cel­lence, the prac­tice works across 75 of­fices glob­ally.CMS teams now work in every corner of the sec­tor across the globe to help it meet the de­mands of cli­mate change, tech­no­lo­gic­al dis­rup­tion, urb­an­isa­tion in de­vel­op­ing eco­nom­ies, so­cial con­cerns and polit­ic­al agen­das.Be­low you will find some of our ex­per­i­ence across the globe. Please get in touch with our ex­perts in your jur­is­dic­tion.Please also see our Hot Top­ics for the En­ergy Trans­ition pub­lic­a­tion.
23 April 2020
Oil & Gas: Stor­age Ca­pa­city and Coun­ter­party Solvency in In­ter­na­tion­al...
With West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (“WTI”) tem­por­ar­ily fall­ing through the neg­at­ive price floor on Monday, and spot LNG prices in Asia hit­ting all time lows, is­sues arising out of stor­age ca­pa­city and coun­ter­party...
29 July 2020
Hot Top­ics for the En­ergy Trans­ition
With more than 450 en­ergy and cli­mate change law­yers, in­clud­ing over 100 part­ners, the CMS En­ergy and Cli­mate Change prac­tice is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Led from its centres of ex­cel­lence such as Lon­don and Ab­er­deen, the prac­tice works across 75 of­fices glob­ally.Our early work in design­ing and im­ple­ment­ing mod­ern en­ergy mar­kets and sub­sequently guid­ing the sec­tor in the push to de­car­bon­isa­tion means CMS is not only a trans­ac­tion­al or pro­ject ad­viser to the sec­tor, but uniquely placed to help shape its present and fu­ture. We can help by giv­ing you our ad­vice and com­pre­hens­ive know­ledge on the top­ics lis­ted be­low.Please also see our CMS En­ergy Glob­al Ex­per­i­ence pub­lic­a­tion.
21 April 2020
E-Sig­na­tures in Oman and COV­ID-19 
Gov­ern­ment au­thor­it­ies all across the world are strongly ad­vising, and in many cases are even re­quir­ing, people to stay at home, so­cially dis­tance from one an­oth­er and avoid gath­er­ings to help put an...