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Practice Area

Climate Change and Resiliency

SPR’s work across practice areas is not only affected by climate change—it is often a direct response to climate change.  SPR is advising governmental agencies on the environmental impact review and permitting of several large-scale resiliency projects throughout Lower Manhattan to strengthen New York City’s defenses to storm surge, sea level rise and other foreseeable climate change-related impacts.  SPR also represents the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in the legal defense of New York City’s congestion pricing program to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, and supported the program’s environmental impact review.

SPR regularly assists clients with integrating climate risk, decarbonization, and resiliency considerations—and related costs and liabilities—throughout the lifecycle of their real estate projects.  Greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use, vulnerability to sea level rise and other climate impacts are relevant throughout the real estate lifecycle, from due diligence and acquisition/leasing; through design, environmental review, and permitting; to construction and operations.  Buyers, sellers, lessees, property managers, lenders, shareholders, and insurers all have a stake in these considerations, made all the more tangible with building emissions standards like NYC’s Local Law 97, SEC disclosure requirements, and corporate ESG goals.

SPR’s long-standing experience with environmental issues in real estate—paired with SPR’s early and active work on building decarbonization and resiliency—situate the firm as a skilled and knowledgeable advisor on climate risk and building sustainability planning and compliance. SPR provides actionable, strategic advice on waterfront planning for flood zones, building energy efficiency, and decarbonization, as well as detailed support for waterfront permitting, building code compliance, energy audits, green leases, penalty mitigation and defense, and the like.

These services are complemented by SPR’s expertise in transactional due diligence, environmental impact review and permitting, construction, and renewable energy development and project finance.

“Local Law 97’s ‘Mediated Resolution’ Clause Gives Too Much Leeway for Exemptions, Lawyers Say,” Contributor

For: City Limits Article by Mariana Simões

February 2024

“An Update on Local Law 97 and the State of Climate Law in New York,” Presenter

For: New York State Bar Association

January 16, 2024

“Local Law 154 Pulls the Plug on Fossil Fuels in New Buildings: Is New York City Ready for Its All-Electric Future?,” Co-Author

For: 33 Environmental Law in New York 169; Co-Author(s): Adam Stolorow, Evan Preminger

October 2022

“Climate Mobilization Act Series: The IRA Meets New York,” Panelist

For: Building Energy Exchange (panelist)

January 24, 2023

“NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act – Practical Implications and Updates Nearly One Month Away From The First Deadline,” Panelist

For: St. John’s University School of Law (panelist)

May 2021

“Applying for LL97 Adjustments,” Panelist

For: Building Energy Exchange (panelist)

May 2021

“Preparing for Carbon Emission Limits under NYC Local Law 97,” Panelist

For: HalfMoon Education, Inc. (panelist)

January 2021

“Maximizing Property Values Through Onsite Solar,” Panelist

For: Fall 2020 Webinar Series with SPR and Crauderueff Solar (panelist)

November 2020

“Landlord & Tenant Cooperation for Energy Efficiency,” Panelist

For: IFMA NYC and CoreNet Global NYC, panelist on Local Law 97

August 2020

“Optimizing Your New Roof’s Value: Local Law 92/94 Opportunities,” Panelist

For: Webinar Hosted by SPR and Crauderueff Solar (panelist)

April 2020

“Local Law 97 – Legal, Technical and Financial Risks Uncovered,” Panelist

For: Seminar Hosted by SPR and RENEW Energy Partners (panelist)

March 2020

“Climate Change Legislation, Environmental Law 2020,” Presenter

For: American Law Institute

February 2020

“Local Law and Decarbonization, Conference on Climate Disruption and Decarbonization,” Presenter

For: American Bar Association

February 2020

“Navigating Urban Waterway Development,” Presenter

For: Center for Creative Land Recycling


“WISE Tackles the Climate Mobilization Act,” Panelist

For: Building Energy Exchange panel (panelist)

October 2019

“Landlord-Tenant Collaboration: Key Strategies for Whole Building Energy and Emissions Performance,” Presenter

For: Climate Week NYC (with the Institute for Market Transformation and the Building Energy Exchange)

September 2019

“SPR Attorneys Explain the NYC Buildings Emissions Law,” Co-Presenter

For: SPR Webinar

August 2019

“Highlights of NYC’s Building Emissions Law,” Presenter

For: Environmental Law Network Webinar

August 2019

“The Climate Mobilization Act – How It Affects You (And How PACE Can Help),” Panelist

For: Duval & Stachenfeld LLP panel (panelist)

July 2019

“How NYC Building Owners Will Cash In on the New Environmental Standards,” Presenter

For: Queens Chamber of Commerce panelist on NYC Local Law 97

July 2019

“Looking Forward and Looking Back: The Path to Deep Emissions Reductions in New York City’s Buildings,” Moderator

For: New York City Bar Association panel (moderator)

May 2019

“Waterfront Redevelopment and Resilience: Natural Resources, Regulatory Changes, and Future Physical Climate Risks,” Presenter

For: New York State Bar Association Environment and Energy Law Section

January 30, 2015

“Combined Heat and Power’s Potential to Meet New York City’s Sustainability Goals,” Co-Author

For: Energy Policy, vol. 65(C), 444–454; Co-Author(s): Alexis Saba et al., Bianca Howard


“Flood Zones: Where Does Your Property Stand in Our Post-Sandy State?,” Panelist

For: Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY), Panelist

September 2013

“Recovery and Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy: Legal Perspectives in What We Know and Where We Go,” Co-Planning Chair & Panelist

For: Panelist and Co-planning Chair, NY/NJ Bar Association

April 2013