Hunton & Williams
Climate Change Law and Policy

The Hunton & Williams LLP global Climate Change Law and Policy practice assists clients with challenges and opportunities emerging from regulatory and corporate responses to climate change. In this multifaceted practice, we represent entities in the litigation of climate change-related state and federal government actions in the United States, assist clients with carbon reduction projects and trading around the world, and support the development of corporate institutional climate policies and strategies. Our strong government relations group closely follows developments around the world and advises on climate change policy both in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government and in the European Union. Finally, Hunton & Williams has experience advising public companies on the disclosure of climate-related risks as part of their obligations under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley Act). The firm's climate change practice spans four distinct areas:
  • Carbon Projects, Finance and Trading
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Litigation, and
  • Policy Monitoring and Lobbying

Areas of law implicated in the regulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions include tax, capital markets, trade, corporate, property, administrative, tort, criminal, finance and environmental. A multidisciplinary approach is essential to anticipating and effectively managing the various risks inherent in this emerging field. As a full-service firm, Hunton & Williams is experienced in all these substantive areas of law, and possesses the strategic, policy development, political, technical and financial skills to know how to implement the best course of action for a company contemplating a voluntary or regulated greenhouse gas reduction strategy. The firm's network of 19 global offices and ties to local counsel with climate change experience in numerous other jurisdictions offers a seamless "one-stop shop" for most corporate climate change needs. This service was recognized in December 2006 when Hunton & Williams was voted "Best Law Firm" for U.S. Emissions Markets by the readers of Environmental Finance magazine.

Tauna M. Szymanski

Practice focuses on climate change law, including emission reduction and renewable energy projects, policy analysis, regulatory advice and carbon trading globally. Ms. Szymanski has worked in several capacities on climate change issues since 1994 and has offices in both London and Washington, D.C.

Relevant Experience
  • Advise several sell-side entities on commercializing avoided deforestation verified emission reductions (VERs) in developing countries
  • Negotiate ISDA, IETA, EFET and DRV carbon trading documentation on behalf of several major investment banks and trading companies; participate in industry working groups on drafting new versions of documentation to cover Phase II EU Emissions Trading Scheme trading (for EUAs, CERs and ERUs)
  • Advise on renewable energy projects and certificates, including for patent pending technologies
  • Analyze new and emerging climate change-related laws and regulations to assess business risks and opportunities
  • Draft and advise on emission reduction purchase agreements (ERPAs) for the primary and secondary transaction of greenhouse gas emission reductions around the world under the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, and in the voluntary markets
  • Advise clients on requirements for undertaking carbon reduction projects
  • Work with European local counsel on compliance with the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)
  • Advise and draft documentation for the sale of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and VERs from U.S.-based landfill gas projects
  • Advise U.S. clients on options available for developing a corporate climate change program
  • Analyze and report regularly to clients on status of U.S. climate change policy in executive and legislative branches and states
  • Report to clients on status of U.S. law regarding ownership and transaction of RECs
  • Draft comments on behalf of client to U.S. Minerals Management Service regarding regulation of offshore renewable energy development in the United States
  • Draft client response to U.S. Senate committee on proposed U.S. greenhouse gas cap-and-trade legislation
  • Research legislative history of the U.S. Endangered Species Act in regard to the parameters of a client's proposed development project
  • Editor-in-Chief, Stanford Environmental Law Journal, 2002-2003
  • Summer Associate, China Practice Group, Baker & McKenzie, Hong Kong & Shanghai, China, 2002; Environmental Practice Group, Chicago, IL, 2001
  • Government Relations Consultant and Lobbyist (U.S.-China relations and trade), Andreae, Vick & Associates, Washington, D.C., 1997-2000
  • Summer Intern (international environmental policy and climate change), White House Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, D.C., 1996
  • Significant international living experience: mainland China (5+ years), Hong Kong and Taiwan (2 years), Burma (3 years), Israel (3 years), United Kingdom (1 year)
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, New York Bar
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section on Energy, Environment and Resources
  • Member, American Planning Association
  • M.P.A.-M.A., Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Economics and Public Policy; Urban and Regional Planning, 2005
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 2003
  • B.A., Carleton College, magna cum laude, International Relations and Environmental and Technology Studies, 1997
  • National Security Education Program Grantee, Chinese language and environmental policy, Harbin and Beijing, China, 1995-1996
  • Chinese (proficient); Spanish (foundational)




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Contact Hunton & Williams

Tauna M. Szymanski
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC  20006
Phone: (202) 955-1949
Fax: (202) 828-3793

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