July 15, 2021

In its annual list of Energy & Environment Trailblazers, the NLJ recognizes professionals who have made significant marks on the practice, policy and advancements in their sector.

Partner and Co-Chair of Willkie’s Energy Commodities Group, Athena Eastwood was named among The National Law Journal’s 2021 Energy & Environment Trailblazers. The Trailblazer series honors legal professionals who have moved the needle in the legal industry and are agents of change, making significant contributions to the practice, policy and advancements in their sector.

Ms. Eastwood is widely recognized for her commodities regulatory and transactional work in the environmental commodities, energy, metals, agriculture and derivatives markets. She advises clients on renewable procurement structures and corporate sustainability programs, including developing net carbon neutral strategies, and works extensively with green products markets. Ms. Eastwood currently serves on the CFTC’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee of the Market Risk Advisory Committee, and co-authored the landmark report, “Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. Financial System.” She also chairs the FIA’s climate risk working group.

In the NLJ’s recently published Trailblazer profile, she discussed her career path leading to energy commodities work, and innovative solutions she has developed to address climate-related risk in the financial system through derivatives and capital markets. “There are a lot of innovative derivatives designed to address climate risk, such as famine derivatives, which are indexed to the amount of rainfall in a given area. A relief organization might buy one of these contracts, and if rainfall is under a certain threshold, they get a payout just when they need it. But if the volume of rain is over the threshold, they pay.”

On how she sees the industry changing in the future, she notes that “we expect to see exponential growth in carbon markets, and I’m hoping this massive shift in capital will accomplish for climate change what politics cannot.”

Ms. Eastwood’s full profile in The National Law Journal’s 2021 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers series can be found here.