Hinshaw's Climate Change group is a multidisciplinary team providing planning and transactional resources for the real estate development, insurance, and lending industries. The team also leverages its experience in these industries to counsel local governments.

Climate change and, more particularly, rising sea levels are especially urgent issues along American coastlines. In the next 25 years, absent radical remediation and technical breakthroughs, the sea level along the coasts is anticipated to rise by up to three feet (0.91 meter), inundating major portions of the cities of New York, Miami, and coastal areas worldwide. Rising sea levels will result in major changes not only to developments and infrastructure (privately owned structures, roads, utilities, etc.) but also to federal, state, and local laws and regulations which affect developments and infrastructure and their owners and investors. Also affected will be the insurers that will be dealing with claims and trying to create the next generation of underwriting guidelines and policy coverage. Other relevant and highly probable multi-hazard risks with climate change include greater occurrences of tropical storms and hurricanes, flash flooding, droughts, land subsidence, forest fires, and heat waves.

Coastal areas are not the only affected part of the country. Agricultural regions may expect their businesses to be affected as rainfall patterns change.

As these wide ranging risks manifest themselves and impact nearly every facet of our economic and legal systems, our clients will be challenged to accommodate a great variety of unknowns. Our Climate Change group is proactively monitoring trends, public policy, and the environment to assist our clients by:

  • Keeping them updated about what promises to be a constantly shifting environment of tax regulations concerning the ownership of property and the operation of businesses.
  • Construing and planning for the ambiguities which inevitably will arise as federal, state, and local regulatory agencies begin to enforce existing and new laws and regulations in the context of climate change impacts, including conflicts among those federal, state, and local laws.
  • Formulating internal risk management policies, disclosure policies, and business plans to deal with the effects climate change on markets, shareholders, and consumers.

Hinshaw has sponsored an annual conference to bring a distinguished group of business and regulatory leaders together to discuss proactive solutions to climate change and sea level rise in Florida and elsewhere. To learn more, visit the Annual Sea Level Rise & Climate Change Conference website.

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