Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation


Robinson+Cole’s Sustainability Group counsels clients seeking to maximize opportunities and manage risks from climate impacts through adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation strives to change structures and systems in the built environment to address the risks and impacts created by climate change. Adaptation strategies include rebuilding more resilient structures and infrastructure following severe storm events. Mitigation focuses on reducing sources of climate change, such as greenhouse gas and other human-causing emissions, through clean energy, carbon sink, and sequestration projects.

Our Services

Our Sustainability Group supports the development of projects and facilities whose goal is to incorporate resilience metrics for critical infrastructure systems that protect communities and strengthen the resilience of the economy in the face of climate change. In addition, our land use lawyers represent shorefront property owners in various communities in their efforts to secure permits from federal, state, and local officials to rebuild after coastal storms so that the new structures are compliant with current floodplain management policies.

Our Team

Our Sustainability Group members have an extensive understanding of climate change programs and work closely with clients in their efforts to meet climate change policy regulations, including advising on carbon markets and greenhouse gas regulatory compliance as well as land use plans and regulations, including regulatory incentives, in response to climate change. Our land use lawyers counsel clients on land use regulations related to coastal development, including sea level rise, and can easily interpret recent changes in the development of regulation concerning climate change.

    • Experience
      • Represented shorefront property owner in its application to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for a permit to rebuild a house damaged by Hurricane Irene. Successfully argued that the client's house had predated the passage of coastal management statutes in Connecticut and was thus eligible for a permit under the simpler certificate of permission program.

      • Secure federal, state, and local permits to rebuild shorefront properties after coastal storms, bringing new structures into compliance with current floodplain management policies.

      • Represented data center in establishing a program that ensured continuous electric reliability through interconnections to two different utility companies at three separate substations and the installation of on-site backup generation.

      • Represented municipality in the development a microgrid project, including the negotiation of the power purchase, engineering, procurement and construction, interconnection, and operations and maintenance agreements. 

    • Publications + Presentations
    • "Climate Change Regulations," published in Discretionary Land Use Controls: Avoiding Invitations to Abuse of Discretion, authored by Brian W. Blaesser, Chapter 8 (Thomson-Reuters: Update 2018)
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      "Land Use and Sea Level Rise: Practice Tips for Land Use Practitioners in the Wake of Changing Regulatory Schemes," published in Probate & Property, authored by Sorell E. Negro (July/August 2015)
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      • View article

      "Sea Level Rise and Property Rights: Recent Cases and Surging Issues," at the ABA's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law's (RPTE) Spring Symposia in Washington, DC (5/1/2015)
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      "Sea Level Rise and Property Rights: Recent Cases and Surging Issues," presented by Sorell E. Negro, at the ABA's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law's (RPTE) Spring Symposia in Washington, DC (5/1/2015)
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      "Preparing, Adapting, and Rebuilding: Rising Sea Levels Raise New Legal Issues," published in Probate & Property, authored by Sorell E. Negro, a publication of the American Bar Association (11/12/2013)

      "Are We Prepared?" at Connecticut Power & Energy Society's (CPES) annual Energy, Environment, and Economic Development Conference; Moderator of panel discussion on whether we are prepared for the next emergency, presented by Joey Lee Miranda (3/13/2013)

      "Protecting the Public Through Hazard Mitigation Planning," published in Homeland Security and Emergency Management: A Legal Guide for State and Local Governments (2nd Edition) ABA Press, co-authored by Dwight H. Merriam and Rufus C. Young, Jr. (2010)
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Our Team