Climate Change

Climate Change

Overview

In recent years, "global climate change" has become an increasingly significant factor in the development and use of land. In California, with the adoption of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (better known simply as AB 32), the State Legislature declared that "[g]lobal warming poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California." In both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., global warming continues to generate considerable legislative and regulatory activity.

The emission of "greenhouse gases" and their potential environmental effects are now a focal point in varied regulatory and legal arenas, including environmental impact reviews under CEQA and NEPA, development of building standards, and new requirements for regional and local planning. Regulatory requirements continue to expand and evolve at the same time that the philosophical and scientific debates over the pace and consequences of climate change continue.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson has been at the forefront of the legal response to climate change in California. We successfully defended and settled the first climate change lawsuit under CEQA, and we have been involved in legislative, regulatory, and appellate developments ever since. We have a leading practice in the permitting and development of alternative energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Following the adoption of AB 32, we have helped formulate, and successfully defended, analysis of greenhouse gas emissions affecting global climate change in project EIRs. We counsel clients regarding local green building ordinances as well as green building requirements now incorporated into the California Building Code. We are actively involved in the formulation of regulations to implement AB 32, SB 375, and CEQA's requirements for analysis of climate change impacts.

We help our clients understand and respond to the evolving regulatory environment so that entitlements and operations can proceed without unnecessary delay. We stay abreast of the evolving requirements to assess climate change impacts, requirements under CEQA, and the status of scientific studies of climate change. Thus, we can help our clients plan for changes and structure their entitlements to minimize the adverse impacts of those changes. And finally, when needed, we stand ready to defend CEQA and NEPA environmental documents against legal challenges based on climate change issues.

Representative
Matters

Represented a county in defending a general plan EIR against the first climate change CEQA challenge brought by the Attorney General's office. Successfully settled these lawsuits, preserving the new general plan intact. Represented the county in formulating and adopting a new greenhouse gas reduction plan pursuant to the negotiated settlements.

Represented a national laboratory in responding to climate change comments on the EIR for a long range master plan, successfully defending the climate change analysis and response to comments through the trial and appellate courts.

In connection with several independent projects, represented a large national retailer in the defense of challenges to the CEQA evaluation of the potential impacts of greenhouse gas emissions generated by retail operations.

Represented a major health services company in formulating the strategy for handling climate change claims asserted a new medical campus, including the formulation of mitigation measures and responses to comments.

Represented several mixed-use and residential communities in the preparation of the CEQA evaluation of the potential impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, including in some cases defending challenges to those evaluations in the projects' EIRs.

Advised trade associations in formulating legislative proposals in response to the first wave of climate change lawsuits, and in formulating proposal for regulations governing climate change analysis in EIRs.

Represented business groups in litigation challenging regulations for CEQA analysis of climate change issues adopted by a local air district, including claims relating to the disparate analysis of the regulations on in-fill development.

Represented business organizations in responding to advocacy positions of the California Attorney General on climate changed issues linked to adoption of a sustainable communities strategy pursuant to SB 375.

Assisted national developer with pilot program to obtain LEED certification for neighborhood design proposed to achieve certification on a project-wide basis as well as to achieve certification of many individual buildings.

Represented developers of LEED certified high-rise residential tower in San Francisco.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Bradish, Margo N. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5101
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DeGood, Alexander M. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2205
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Fogg, Andrew K. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2178
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Klein, Linda C. Associate San Francisco 415.262.5130
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Morrison, Clark Partner San Francisco 415.262.5113
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Mudge, Anne E. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5107
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Paone, Tim Partner Orange County 949.260.4655
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Patricio, Lisa M. Associate Los Angeles 310.284.2220
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Sabey, Andrew B. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5103
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Stein, Tamar C. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2248
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Waite, David P. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2218
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Zischke, Michael H. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5109
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Spotlight

Environmental And Land Use Practices Ranked Top In Northern California By The Recorder

One of California’s leading legal industry newspapers named Cox Castle & Nicholson's Northern California Environmental... More»

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