A coalition including some of the UK's largest law firms has called upon world leaders to deliver a clear and consistent international regulatory framework, or risk undermining the effectiveness of the global climate change deal that is expected to be agreed later this year in Copenhagen.
The Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), which represents 124 law firms including global players such as Linklaters and Taylor Wessing, yesterday issued a communiqué to leaders of the G20 group of nations calling for the adoption of more effective regulations capable of enabling deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climactic changes.
The communiqué, which has been released ahead of next week's G20 climate change meeting in Pittsburgh, argued that while new legislation will be essential to carbon reduction strategies, it would need to be "clear and proportionate and form part of a coherent, integrated regulatory and enforcement framework".
In particular, the group called for broadly consistent international rules to clarify the ownership rights and responsibilities surrounding carbon trading and carbon capture and storage projects, and the adoption of global green product, industry and reporting standards. "Multiple national standards should be avoided," the group advised.
The memo also includes an offer from the LSA to undertake pro bono work to help formulate effective climate change regulation in the UK.
Vanessa Havard-Williams, chairwoman of the LSA Policy Committee, said that governments' ability to translate any Copenhagen deal into national legislation would be central to the treaty's success. "Any international agreement to reduce emissions needs to be implemented through national law," she said. "The LSA believes that putting in place proportionate, well-designed regulation which is co-ordinated across markets where appropriate, is key to a successful transition to a lower-carbon world."
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