Ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November, organizations worldwide have committed to net zero targets and are working on how to deliver them. Legal professionals supporting these efforts by drafting climate-aligned legal agreements have a new resource: the Net Zero Toolkit from The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP).

It’s based on TCLP’s vision that every legal contract is an opportunity to contribute positive solutions to climate change, and Thomson Reuters editors are supporting the initiative by incorporating climate-conscious clauses into Practical Law online resources.

Legal Current is highlighting the law firms leading by example in the fight against climate change. Today we talk with Nigel Brook, partner, Clyde & Co, UK, a reinsurance specialist who leads the firm’s resilience and climate risk practice team. He shares why his firm is participating in the project.

“Clyde & Co has been working with The Chancery Lane Project since the project began almost two years ago,” he said. “Both ethos and concepts of the project align with our expertise in climate risk and liability. Lending our knowledge to a cause of speeding the response to climate change was simply a natural and the right way to make a positive impact.”

Brook explained how his firm is incorporating TCLP principles and clauses into its work.

“Apart from our active participation in the drafting process, we have been promoting the clauses externally with our clients though, for instance, our business development campaign called Contracts for Climate Change,” he said. “TCLP clauses also form part of our offering focused on decarbonizing employment contracts and relationships called HR Eco Audit. We have also included the clauses in our external webinars, such as The Klein-Klein of Climate Change Contracts, which we organized as part of the Hamburg International Arbitration Days in March 2021. Finally, we have initiated internal trainings focused on bringing the clauses to the attention of our professional support lawyers as well as fee-earners.”

He shared how participating in TCLP provides value to the firm and to its clients.

“We now have more experts who can confidently advise clients on climate risks and how to mitigate them,” Brook explained. “This is invaluable in the transition to the net zero economy the world is going to undertake in the next 30 years. Our clients have been very receptive to the message. We see an increasing awareness of climate risks and issues among our clients and many are actively thinking about how they can mitigate their impact and exposure. Contacts are a natural starting point.”

He noted it’s important to his firm to be directly involved in combating climate change. Clyde & Co has published several climate risks and liability reports, and co-authored reports focused on climate change risk in the insurance sector with the Insurance Development Forum – on technology and innovation and protection gap – and one with the Geneva Association on climate change litigation.

“Translating this expertise into pro bono work with TCLP that can have benefit beyond our client base has been a crucial part of using our expertise,” Brook said. “TCLP is a profoundly powerful initiative. Its impact should not be underestimated – with decarbonization efforts ramping up and COP26 around the corner, TCLP provide a manual for immediate action.”

Watch Legal Current for insights from more law firms fighting climate change. Also, register for a TCLP workshop or webinar, and access the Net Zero Toolkit. For more on how Thomson Reuters is partnering with TCLP, read the Practical Law case study.