Climate Change Litigation Expert Profile: B. Tod Delaney, PhD, PE, BCEE

Climate change is impacting the human population worldwide as its effects damage major infrastructure as well as the land, waters, coastlines, species, natural resources, critical ecosystems, and other natural resources and assets that make up our environment. Indigenous people, tribes, communities of color, and other communities already economically marginalized and overburdened are at a particularly high risk. Human activity has been, and continues to be, a major contributor through industrial processes; energy production; and the extraction, refinement, and combustion of fossil fuels.


Reversing the impacts of climate change is a daunting task that will take place slowly and require the concerted efforts of government, industry, financial institutions, academia, and activists. In the meantime, communities are incurring huge costs to engineer adaptive solutions for impacts such as sea level rise, increased flooding and storm surge, more frequent high temperatures, depletion of natural environments, less arable land, more frequent and extreme storms and wildfires, and more. Many communities are turning to litigation to recover the costs of adaptation and resiliency, using a modified “polluter pays” principle against responsible parties, including large petroleum and gas companies, utilities, and government.


These cases will require experts with a broad understanding of climate science, adaptation and mitigation best practices, and industrial standards for fossil fuel producing activities. First Environment’s unique combined experience providing expert witness and litigation support services for over 30 years and our in-depth knowledge of climate change impacts, mitigation measures, and adaptation strategies and engineering puts us in the ideal position to support these cases.


Over Two Decades of Climate Change Experience


First Environment has been a leader in the development of environmental engineering measures designed to quantify the impacts of climate change, mitigate its harmful impacts, and adapt to a world in which climate change impacts are a reality. We have helped develop international policies, standards, and best practices regarding climate change science since 1995. Our climate change experience and expertise are wide ranging including planet-wide atmospheric assessments, hard asset risk and vulnerability assessments and infrastructure resiliency improvement projects.  We’ve worked closely with communities, corporations, and public and federal agencies to identify climate risks, define climate goals and facilitate implementation of suitable programs in ways that are protective of human health and the environment. First Environment frequently supports first-of-their-kind and one-of-a-kind climate change projects, including carbon offset projects and climate change adaptation plans spanning back to the early 2000s. Many of our clients are multinational corporations whose environmental management programs span geographic, political, and cultural boundaries.

Areas of Expertise

Types of Cases
  • Cost recovery of losses and damages caused by weather events
  • Restitution and cost recovery for special studies on adaptation and resiliency measures
  • Restitution and cost recovery for adaptation measures to address damages from climate change impacts
  • “Greenwashing” in corporate promotions and branding campaigns that misrepresent business goals, objectives, and execution
  • Unfair, deceptive, or unethical conduct leading to the avoidable release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
  • For public entities, penalties for violating regulations that prohibit air and water pollution, natural resource damages, and other damages to the natural environment held in public trust
  • Disgorgement for gains achieved through unfair acts in industrial processes; energy production; and extraction, refinement, and combustion of fossil fuels
  • Disclosure of research relating to climate change conducted by predecessors and affiliates
  • Cost recovery for education campaigns on the dangers of climate change, processes that cause it, and adaptation measures

Subject Matter Expertise

Damage/harm cost assessments
  • Impact assessment of industrial operations and related infrastructure
  • Cost modeling of past and forecasted environmental impacts
  • Identification of innovative funding sources


Best and good practices evaluation
  • Greenhouse gas accounting and verification
  • Interpretation of regulatory requirements and specifications
  • Application of accepted international standards

Expert Profile: B. Tod Delaney, PhD, PE, BCEE


Dr. Delaney has more than 20 years of experience supporting municipalities, multinational corporations, and federal agencies in achieving climate change goals, including GHG emission reductions, climate change planning, risk assessment, adaptation and resiliency, and life cycle assessment. Some of his expert credentials include the following:

  • Internationally recognized climate change expert with leadership and technical expert roles in global climate  change measurement, mitigation and adaptation efforts reaching back to 1995
  • U.S. Technical Expert in the fields of climate change science, engineering and air quality for global standards aimed at measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing carbon footprints, quantifying the life cycle of products to reduce waste, and developing climate change adaptation strategies. Elected representative of the UNFCCC’s international Climate Change Adaptation Task Force (2016 – ongoing) and elected chair of ISO’s Climate Change Task Force (2014 – 2018)
  • Represented an NGO in more than 18 UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COPs) including the historic Paris conference where a global response to climate change was ratified committing the parties to keeping a global temperature rise this century to below 2º C, to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5º C and strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
  • Adjunct Professor of Greenhouse Gas Measurement & Verification studies at George Washington University Graduate School
  • Environmental expert witness qualified as a testifying expert in over 40 cases in more than 22 states
  • Guest lecturer and speaker on climate change topics for dozens of regional, national, and global events, including by the following organizations:
    • Inter-American Development Bank
    • American National Standards Institute
    • Business Council for Sustainable Energy
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation
    • Air & Waste Management Association
    • Transportation Research Board
    • U.S. Department of Transportation
    • International Organization of Standardization
    • American Bar Association

For more information about our climate change litigation services, download the flyer or contact us.