by John Nolon

The report released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts explains the dramatic uptick in attention sustainable development law now enjoys. Pew reports that private investments in G-20 clean power projects could total $2.3 trillion by the end of the decade (Pew provides interactive graphics with country snapshots and projections for investment and capacity). This private investment will fuel client interest, rewarding practitioners announcing that they are in the business, and generate yet more scholarship.

The Land Use Law Center has observed exponential growth in the number of these practices in the past few years as it has compiled a list of law firms with sustainable development law practices. As recently as 2005 there were only a handful of sustainable development law practices.  Today, the list, which is gathered informally and only as we learn about individual practices, now contains over sixty firms and practitioners.  This growth in the practice of sustainable development law parallels the explosion of scholarship in sustainable development law, which grew from a few articles appearing each year to dozens during this same period.

Generally, these practices incorporate land use, energy, real estate, securities, finance, insurance, as well as traditional environmental law. They cover topics ranging from energy conserving real estate development to environmental justice and green affordable housing, with a significant focus on financing sustainable projects through innovative means including a growing list of public initiatives.

The list is still in development, so we would appreciate information about additional practices.  If you know of a law firm or practitioner that we should add to the list, leave a comment below with the name and, if possible, the relevant website.