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Commercial Leases and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Requirements: Key Drafting Issues for Owners and Tenants

Incorporating Federal, State, and Local GHG Disclosure Requirements and Building Energy Performance Standards Into Leases

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, May 2, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will address the just announced (and currently stayed) SEC final rule and growing number of state and local laws implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions disclosure/reduction requirements including building energy performance standards (BEPS) and their impact on commercial building owners and tenants. The panel will discuss landlord and tenant risks and opportunities when negotiating lease terms and best practices for incorporating these new and emergent government mandates into commercial leases.


Monetizing GHG emission data is creating a new revenue stream for tenants (and to a lesser extent, for landlords), in one modest example of how a decarbonized economy will look dramatically different than what exists today.

The SEC recently adopted a final rule that, although currently stayed, if implemented, will for the first time require public company tenants and landlords to report GHG emission data.

A growing number of states and municipalities, including California, Colorado, Maryland, Washington D.C., New York City, and Denver, are also for the first time regulating GHG emissions. GHG disclosure and reduction laws, including BEPS, will significantly impact commercial property owners who must comply with these standards or face serious legal and financial consequences.

This new space of regulation by governments requires existing buildings to reduce building GHG emissions to meet specified energy use intensity targets. Building owners will need the cooperation of their tenants and vice versa in exchanging utility and other data to comply with these standards, and each will want to understand their obligations and potential financial exposure for compliance related upgrades.

Counsel should understand how these new laws impact commercial lease terms to best advantage and mitigate risk for their clients, whether landlords or tenants. Considerations include defining new terms such as the GHG/BEPS standards that apply and what constitutes operating expenses where expenditures will be required for building retro-commissioning and ongoing compliance; how to allocate these additional expenses as well as any penalties that may be assessed; and addressing the sharing of GHG emissions data between the landlord and tenant where each may need specific information from the other to fulfill reporting obligations.

Listen as our expert panel provides an overview of notable federal, state ,and local GHG/BEPS laws and regulations, including how these are impacting commercial building owners and their tenants. The panel will address landlord and tenant considerations when negotiating the lease and offer best practices for incorporating the new laws' requirements into new and existing lease terms.



  1. Overview of GHG/BEPS regulations
    1. Risks and opportunities
    2. SEC final (currently stayed) rules on climate related disclosures
    3. Notable state and municipal laws
      1. California
      2. Colorado
      3. Maryland
      4. New York City
      5. Others
  2. Commercial lease impact: key terms
    1. Landlord considerations
    2. Tenant considerations
  3. Matters not in your lease
    1. Do you own your GHG emission data?
    2. Monetizing GHG emission data
    3. Composting food waste
  4. Best practices for negotiation and drafting


The panel will review these and other important considerations:

  • In what ways will the new and soon-to-be-enacted GHG/BEPS regulations impact commercial building owners?
  • What impact will the Mar. 6, 2024, SEC Final Rule on Climate Related Disclosure, although currently stayed, have on landlords and tenants?
  • What should landlords and tenants be doing to prepare for compliance during the SEC stay?
  • How will landlords' obligations to meet GHG/BEPS requirements affect their tenants? In what ways will landlords require cooperation and assistance from their tenants?
  • On what terms should counsel focus when drafting commercial leases to incorporate the new GHG/BEPS requirements and ensure landlord compliance? To reflect tenant obligations and limit their financial exposure?
  • Who owns the greenhouse emission data, including utility data in a commercial building?
  • With monetizing GHG emission data creating a new revenue stream, how will this nascent movement create opportunities for landlords and tenants?


Hudes, Nancy
Nancy Hudes

ESG Legal Solutions

Ms. Hudes assists clients in analyzing and complying with government laws and regulations that primarily relate to...  |  Read More

Kaplow, Stuart
Stuart D. Kaplow

ESG Legal Solutions

Mr. Kaplow has a broad background of legal and business interests with focused experience in sustainability and...  |  Read More

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