Glossary entry

Climate Professional

Definitions

Climate Professional

Climate Professional means an [appropriately qualified] [environmental, sustainability consultant/ net zero consultant/ analyst/ [environmental or sustainability][or climate] scholar/ [environmental or sustainability][or climate] scientist] who has the skills and experience to competently:

(a) perform the [environmental and/ or sustainability][and/ or climate] consultancy services;

(b) develop, create and implement policies, structures and systems to achieve and measure Net Zero Targets;

(c) design the environmental and/ or sustainability policies and targets of the project;

(d) assess the [environmental and/ or sustainability] [and/ or climate] related risks of the project]; and

(e) monitor [the Company’s/ Party’s] compliance with the environmental and/ or sustainability policies and targets connected with [the Project/ this Agreement].

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Drafting notes

Alternative terms

Alternative terms for Climate Professional include:

  • Environmental and Sustainability Consultant; or
  • Net Zero Consultant.

Qualification requirements

The parties may want to specify the meaning of ‘appropriately qualified’ – for example, by specifying the required professional qualification or certification. In Australia and New Zealand, the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme ( CEnvP ) assesses environmental professionals’ training, experience, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, and provides industry-wide certification.

Choosing the right candidate

Select the appropriate type of professional and type of services to be provided by the climate professional for the agreement.

The definition of environmental or sustainability consultant and environmental or sustainability services is considered to be wide enough to capture carbon consultants and climate consultancy services. In certain contexts, parties may wish to specify climate change expertise.

Appointment

Consider whether the climate professional is jointly appointed by the parties or whether the appointment is the responsibility of a single party.

Costs

Consider which party will bear the costs of appointing the climate professional and the climate professional’s services during the contract term, or if these will be shared between the parties.

Insurance and other considerations

There are a number of issues (such as professional indemnity cover or who will be able to rely on the climate professional’s work) that should be considered when appointing [environmental] consultants. Lawyers should speak to their environmental law colleagues for specific advice.

Application

Any agreement that involves:

  • appointing a consultant to carry out climate and sustainability-related services (e.g. implementing a net zero strategy or assessing the climate risks/ opportunities of a prospective project or transaction); or
  • assessing the parties’ compliance with environment and sustainability-related activities (e.g. during the life of a climate-related project).