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Law firm Freshfields to support Turkish wind power projects

15 Dec 2008

Law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to support the construction of wind turbines at two sites in Turkey.

The firm’s support for the Sebenoba-Karakurt wind power project will help neutralise the firm’s impact on climate change through a carbon offsetting project, as part of the firm’s wider carbon reduction programme, according to a statement.

Two projects were put forward: the first focusing on a hydropower project in the Sichuan Province of China, and the second, which proved marginally more popular, was the Turkish wind power project. The aim of both projects is to start delivering clean energy to local grids which have thus far relied heavily on fossil fuel resources.

Willibald Plesser, Freshfields co-head for the CEE/CIS/Turkey region, said, ‘Choosing a Turkish project as beneficiary of this year’s carbon offsetting credits is a tangible reflection of our long-standing involvement in the region. We have been active as an adviser in Turkey for many years, including on renewables projects, so it is great to help make such important projects financially viable. We hope the project will not only generate employment in the region but also help raise awareness of alternative forms of power in Turkey.’

John Blain, partner and chair of Freshfields’ environmental working group, said: ‘Offsetting is a good way of minimising our impact on the environment, but the best thing to do is reduce our impact in the first place. Our ambition is to reduce our carbon footprint year on year and this is something we are making good progress with across the firm. Since 2006 we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.4 per cent per person. We are always looking for new ideas, and the carbon offsetting vote is one of the many ways we can actively involve staff in reducing our impact on the environment.’

This year Freshfields is also supporting a renewable energy project in India, which uses bagasse – a by-product from the local sugar cane farms – to power a factory; a biogas project powering five farms in the Netherlands using animal manure; as well as the coalmine methane capture project in Germany selected by last year’s firm wide vote.

The Sebenoba-Karakurt wind power project is located in the Kirkagac region near Izmir and the Sebenoba site is situated in the southern district of Hatay. The combined capacity of the two projects is 40.8MW.

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