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Energy & Climate Change

A key driver of the global economy, the energy sector is affected by and affects global geopolitics, economics and regulation. You require advisors who not only understand your industry but also work on cutting edge issues with leaders of energy companies, regulators, governments, industry bodies and investors.

Our teams span 42 countries and work within every part of the energy sector, including upstream and downstream oil & gas, electricity in all its forms including generation, networks, wholesale and retail markets, nuclear and renewables including solar and other green energy and clean tech. Over the last 25 years, our experts have helped shape the sector by creating the legal frameworks upon which many of your markets are based.

Whether you are a NOC, IOC, independent, electricity company, investor, government or financial institution, we have the energy specialists to meet all your strategic challenges globally.

Our multi-disciplinary teams were among the first to advise on ground-breaking global oil and gas M&A and on power projects in Europe, to establish a single electricity market in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, lead historic electricity industry reform in Mexico and work on renewable energy projects globally. This collective experience means we can pre-empt and provide answers to the commercial, risk and regulatory issues you face in the energy sector.

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Renewables
Our comprehensive expertise in the area of renewable energies is founded on decades of experience, which we have gained through our active involvement

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04/07/2022
Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and Re­act­ive Leg­al Lim­it­a­tions Per­vade the...
On 24 June 2022, the 53 Con­tract­ing Parties of the En­ergy Charter Treaty (ECT), a key mul­ti­lat­er­al treaty pro­tect­ing cross-bor­der en­ergy in­vest­ments that was ori­gin­ally con­cluded in 1991, reached a tent­at­ive...
24/06/2022
Reg­u­la­tion on for­eign sub­sidies is head­ing for the fin­ish line - European...
Since 5 May 2022, EU tri­logue ne­go­ti­ations have been un­der­way on the first Reg­u­la­tion to lim­it the ef­fect of sub­sidies from third coun­tries to com­pan­ies act­ive in the EU. That an agree­ment will be reached...
01/06/2022
CMS Next
What’s next? In a world of ever-ac­cel­er­at­ing change, stay­ing ahead of the curve and know­ing what’s next for your busi­ness or sec­tor is es­sen­tial.At CMS, we see ourselves not only as your leg­al ad­visers but also as your busi­ness part­ners. We work to­geth­er with you to not only re­solve cur­rent is­sues but to an­ti­cip­ate fu­ture chal­lenges and in­nov­ate to meet them.With our latest pub­lic­a­tion, CMS Next, our ex­perts will reg­u­larly of­fer you in­sights in­to and fresh per­spect­ives on a range of is­sues that busi­nesses have to deal with – from ESG agen­das to re­struc­tur­ing after the pan­dem­ic or fa­cing the di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. We will also share with you more about the work that we are do­ing for our cli­ents, help­ing them in­nov­ate, grow and mit­ig­ate risk.To be able to provide you with the best sup­port, we im­merse ourselves in your world to un­der­stand your leg­al needs and chal­lenges. However, it is equally im­port­ant that you know who we are and how we can work with you. So, we in­vite you to meet our ex­perts and catch a glimpse of what is hap­pen­ing in­side CMS.En­joy read­ing this pub­lic­a­tion, which we will up­date reg­u­larly with new con­tent.CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
26/05/2022
Schrems II: Re­ac­tions to the judge­ment and the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies'...
“Schrems II”: Opin­ions of the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies on Schrems II and re­com­mend­a­tions on the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the judge­ment in in­ter­na­tion­al data trans­fers On 16 Ju­ly 2020, the Court of Justice...
20/05/2022
Amended IC­SID Rules to enter in­to force on 1 Ju­ly 2022
On 21 March 2022, the Mem­ber States of the In­ter­na­tion­al Centre for Set­tle­ment of In­vest­ment Dis­putes (IC­SID) ad­op­ted a com­pre­hens­ive set of amend­ments to IC­SID ar­bit­ra­tion and con­cili­ation rules (“IC­SID...
21/04/2022
En­ergy: Con­sequences of not ex­er­cising an op­tion
In Thurcroft Power Lim­ited v. Volta En­ergy Group Lim­ited [2022] EWHC 338 (Comm), the Com­mer­cial Court de­cided that an op­tion agree­ment con­cern­ing the early stages of a bat­tery stor­age de­vel­op­ment did...
08/04/2022
The Pro­posed Dir­ect­ive on Cor­por­ate Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Due Di­li­gence – a step...
The Pro­posed Dir­ect­ive on Cor­por­ate Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Due Di­li­gence (the “CSDD Pro­pos­al”), pub­lished on 23 Feb­ru­ary 2022, aims to im­pose ob­lig­a­tions on com­pan­ies, their sub­si­di­ar­ies and their value chains...
01/03/2022
Pro­posed man­dat­ory cor­por­ate sus­tain­ab­il­ity due di­li­gence re­quire­ments...
On 23 Feb­ru­ary 2022, the European Com­mis­sion ad­op­ted a long-awaited pro­pos­al for a Dir­ect­ive on cor­por­ate sus­tain­ab­il­ity due di­li­gence for widely-defined spe­cified “com­pan­ies”. The pro­pos­als are wide...
24/02/2022
Pro­spects for in­stall­a­tion and util­iz­a­tion of rooftop sol­ar photo­vol­ta­ics...
CMS Guide
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
16/12/2021
Car­bon mar­kets and COP26
After six years of ne­go­ti­ation, COP26 re­solved one of the out­stand­ing is­sues of the Par­is Rule­book when it reached a con­sensus on a glob­al car­bon mar­ket mech­an­ism. Art­icle 6 of the Par­is Agree­ment set...
15/12/2021
A role for coal?
The Glas­gow Cli­mate Pact is the first COP de­cision to men­tion coal. This has been widely viewed as a real achieve­ment. Even cam­paign­ers who slam the word­ing of the Pact tend to see the in­clu­sion of coal...