Climate Change Resilience
- 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.
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.
Goulston & Storrs, partnering with Corporate Counsel magazine, released the results of a survey of corporate counsel exploring the real estate industry’s reaction and response to climate threats. As part of the efforts of the firm’s Climate Change Resiliency Task Force, the collaboration with Corporate Counsel explored overall opinions about threats to the industry as a result of climate change; specific events and level of perceived risk; the use of government aid; and preparedness efforts.
Much media attention has focused in recent
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.
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.
Newsletters, Advisories, and more
Goulston & Storrs often publishes newsletters, advisories and other materials on emerging issues relative to climate change.
Here are our most recent advisories:
- MEPA Releases Draft Policy on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency
- ULI Releases Report on Risks of Urban Flooding
- Comment Periods Begin for Boston’s Newly Mapped Flood Hazard Areas
- Special Committee Convened to Develop MEPA Climate Change Adaptation Policy
- Major Changes to District of Columbia Stormwater Management Regulations
- Flood Insurance Reforms Offer Little to Commercial Property Owners; FEMA Accepting Comments on Scope of NFIP Study
- Boston Regulatory Initiatives Address Climate Change
Subscribe to have future issues sent directly to your inbox.
Goulston & Storrs frequently hosts industry events in Boston, New York and Washington, DC on emerging issues relative to climate change.
Our inaugural Climate Change Resilience Task Force event, "Beyond the Flood Maps: How the Insurance Industry Will React to Climate Change," was held on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.
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:
- American Red Cross
- FEMA Flood Maps
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Urban Land Institute
- US Green Building Council
- US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
- Wikipedia: Climate Change
Goulston & Storrs solves problems for clients across a wide range of areas. Please take a few moments to review some case studies and learn more about how our attorneys' involvement is beneficial to our client's businesses and the environment in which we live.