All professions need to come together in the fight against climate change. So I was very interested to read that lawyers are doing their bit
The Chancery Lane Project is a lawyer initiative where lawyers get together to draft model contract clauses and draft legislation to create ‘a menu of tools for lawyers and policymakers to consider’.
The website home page cites David Attenborough saying “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with climate change’ which is not the sort of statement you will be used to seeing on legal websites!
You can read more about the project in this pdf article from Business Green (reproduced with permission).
The first editions are now published and available for use
The first papers have now been published and you can download them here. There are two:
- The Climate Contract Playbook, and
- Green papers of Model Laws
The Climate Contract Playbook
The contract clauses are mostly aimed at big business – such as supply contracts and amendments to company articles of association. However several could be used (suitably adapted) by larger landlords and housing associations – indeed the company clauses could be used by all landlords who hold properties via a limited company.
All in house lawyers who are involved in drafting and negotiating contracts for their organisation should read the ‘Climate Contract Playbook’.
Green Papers of Model Laws
The Model Laws document is very interesting and includes:
- Amendments to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 to provide for green leases clauses in business tenancies
- Amendments to the Companies legislation to require directors to consider the interests of the environment
- Amendments to the planning legislation to prioritise green infrastructure projects
We could probably do with all of them on the statute book.
If they are relevant for your business you should draw them to the attention of your MP and suggest they consider them if they get a chance to bring a private members bill.
At the end is a list of model laws which they are considering drafting, which include the following:
- Reintroduce the Zero-carbon Homes requirements that were shelved in 2016
- Help to buy schemes to only be available on energy-efficient homes
- Create city decarbonisation zones in a similar way to regeneration zones
- Have a renewable energy tax credit for efficient building, reducing energy and being net zero.
- Mandatory retrofit of gas boilers, like the smart meter roll-out
- Create a new “Right of Light” law to prevent shading of solar panels
- Building regulations to ensure that all roofs are built to a standard that can hold solar panels
These would definitely make a difference for landlords and all working in property.
What about tenancy agreements?
There is no mention of residential tenancy agreements in the documentation but no doubt these could include clauses encouraging low carbon usage of properties.
If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below.