Environmental Stewardship

  • In 2013, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick earmarked a staggering $52 million in state funding to study and combat the effects of climate change.
  • In November 2014, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that both countries would curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.
  • As recently as January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama brought the issue of climate change to center stage again when he noted in his State of the Union address, “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.”
  • The United Nations is set to tackle the challenge of reaching a legally-binding, international climate agreement when it convenes a conference in Paris in December 2015. A U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a report that the effects of climate change could cost governments around the world more than $100 billion a year.

Climate Change Resilience

As our world copes with increasing environmental transmutations most visible through catastrophic disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, temperature shifts, rising sea levels, and threatened water and food supply, the effects of climate change are also top of mind for our clients. Goulston & Storrs is at the forefront advising businesses on climate change resiliency, exploring how natural disasters affect global economies and identifying the necessary shifts businesses must make to address what lies ahead. With the 2014 finalization and far-reaching effects of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood zone maps, coastal flood zones are shifting inland and affect more properties than ever before. Zoning laws and regulations guiding development and redevelopment are evolving, and the insurance risk considerations for business and property owners are changing exponentially. With these challenges also come opportunities, and drivers to find a smarter way of doing things across the business enterprise.

About Goulston & Storrs' Climate Change Resilience Task Force

Goulston & Storrs’ Climate Change Resilience Task Force advises business and property owners, developers, investors, environmental and planning professionals, insurance providers and policyholders, and financial institutions on the legal and business uncertainties arising from emerging issues relative to climate change. Members of our Climate Change Resilience Task Force represent each of the markets that Goulston & Storrs serves, including lawyers and professionals from our Boston, New York and Washington, DC offices.

Our team provides strategic counsel with the ultimate goal of helping clients develop a focus on these issues and to facilitate a deeper understanding and acceptance of their exposure across the business paradigm. Goulston & Storrs works to ensure thorough, proper planning is in place to protect client business interests for the long term.

Goulston & Storrs' Climate Change Resilience Task Force is comprised of lawyers and professionals from across the firm, including practitioners in our commercial real estate, capital markets, corporate, environmental, green business, insurance, litigation, public law and policy, land use, regulatory, transportation, and tax practices and industry teams. Goulston & Storrs’ Climate Change Resilience Task Force is positioned to deliver the insight and practical advice to make the challenges of climate change manageable while pointing clients to the opportunities for business growth.

Tools to Inform Your Preparedness Planning

Goulston & Storrs' Climate Change Resilience Task Force has prepared a number of useful tools that business and property owners, developers, investors, environmental and planning professionals, insurance providers and policyholders, and financial institutions may use to guide preparedness planning. We've collected all of these tools in the legal industry's first Business Wire picture capsule press release for ease of access. We highlight several of these tools below as well.

  • Real Estate Industry Shows Mixed Reaction to Climate Threats: Much media attention has focused in recent years on the changing, and increasingly volatile, nature of climate conditions around the country.

  • Infographic: Climate Threat Survey Results: Goulston & Storrs and ALM collaborated on a national survey to create a profile of the perception of climate-related threats and how those threats impact business.

  • Prepare Yourself for Climate Change Threats: The need for climate resiliency is clear, and professionals in all aspects of commercial real estate are charged with the responsibility to protect lives and property.

Executive Briefings

We are pleased to offer you a series of Executive Briefings on relevant topics specific to your business and most important to your team. We'll come to your office and present a program that is customized to your needs. Contact Alan Reisch at (617) 574-3547 or Matthew Kiefer at (617) 574-6597 for more information.


Goulston & Storrs proudly serves as a resource to businesses regarding Climate Change Resilience. Here are a few resources to learn more about the broader issues: