Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Environmental Litigation

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France’s Prime Minister Further Advances New Regulation Simplification Policy

Government must prepare all sectorial bills in accordance with new simplification requirements by the second quarter of 2018. By Paul Davies and Michael Green* The French Prime Minister has further emphasised the importance of France’s new regulation simplification policy in an Administrative Circular Letter of January 12, 2018. Citing the fact that the administrative burden … Continue Reading

France Bans Research and Exploitation of Fossil Fuels

France announces voluntary adoption of a new law amending the Mining Code to meet Paris Agreement commitments. By Paul Davies and Michael Green* Background After lengthy legislative debates, the amended Mining Code (MC) now provides that, as a matter of principle, the research and exploitation of coal, and of all liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, shall … Continue Reading

German Court Will Take Evidence in Groundbreaking Climate Change Case

By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Latham has previously written about the Lliuya v. RWE AG case, in which a Peruvian farmer has sought damages from German energy giant RWE for climate change effects in his home country. The Higher Regional Court of Hamm indicated during oral hearings that it would likely proceed to take … Continue Reading

German Energy Giant May Be Directly Liable for Climate Change Impact

By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch A German appeals court has indicated in a groundbreaking civil action that major CO2 producers may be directly liable for global environmental damage caused by climate change. Mr Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer, has alleged that RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest electricity producer, is responsible for the impact of … Continue Reading

Portuguese Children Crowdfund Climate Change Suit Against 47 Countries

By Paul Davies and Michael Green Six Portuguese children are raising funds to sue 47 European countries, asserting that their right to life has been threatened because governments have allegedly failed to adequately deal with climate change. With the support of lawyers from the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), the children will ask nations in … Continue Reading

California’s Supreme Court Denies ARB Petition To Review LCFS Case

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota In a previous post, we described how potential delays in the resolution of the case commonly known as POET I could create uncertainty regarding the future of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). On August 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of California issued an order: (1) denying California … Continue Reading

Uncertainty Looms with Delays to Resolution of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Challenges

By Joshua Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota Two recent developments in the interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II may create additional uncertainty for the future of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (LCFS). Earlier this year, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) issued two … Continue Reading

Court Reissues LCFS Opinion Per ARB Petition For Reconsideration

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman As discussed in a previous post, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District (Court of Appeal) ruled on April 10, 2017 that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) had failed to properly follow a writ of peremptory mandate (the Writ) requiring ARB to remedy violations … Continue Reading

Another Key Decision on Corporate Separateness – High Court Finds That There is No Arguable Case for Unilever to be Held Liable for the Acts and Omissions of Kenyan Subsidiary

By Paul Davies, Michael Green, Samuel Pape and Charles Rae In a recent decision, the High Court has ruled that Unilever plc (Unilever), the ultimate holding company of the Unilever Group, does not owe a duty of care to protect the employees and residents of a tea plantation owned and operated by a Kenyan subsidiary … Continue Reading

Trouble Ahead? Lobbying Underway to Prevent the Extension to the Industrial Emissions Directive

By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Kristof Ferenczi The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is the main EU instrument that regulates emissions from industrial installations (including power stations) and came into force on 6 January 2011. Its objective is to achieve a high level of protection for the environment and human health by reducing harmful industrial … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Cap-and-Trade Extension Bill Could Undermine Program

By Bob Wyman, JP Brisson, Joshua Bledsoe, Andrew Westgate, and Brittany Dryer On April 18, 2017, California Assembly Members Garcia, Holden, and Garcia proposed amendments to Assembly Bill No. 378 (AB 378) that are intended to extend but significantly reshape California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.[1] This post briefly summarizes the backdrop against which AB 378 has been … Continue Reading

France Adopts a New Law Requiring Companies to Diligence their Supply Chains in Relation to Human Rights, Environmental, and Health and Safety Issues

By Paul Davies and Michael Green On March 27, 2017, the French Parliament adopted a Law On The Duty Of Vigilance For Parent And Subcontracting Companies. The law amends the Commerce Code and requires companies to establish and implement a plan for diligencing human rights, environmental, and health and safety issues in their supply chains. … Continue Reading

California Court Rules Against Air Resources Board over LCFS but Preserves 2017 Status Quo

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman In two recent posts, we discussed how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) had been thrown into a state of potential upheaval by two interrelated legal challenges commonly known as POET I and POET II, including a recent oral argument before the California Court of Appeal for the … Continue Reading

U.S. Army Corps Reissues Fifty Existing and Two New Nationwide Permits

By Janice Schneider, Joel Beauvais, Stacey VanBelleghem, Jennifer Roy, and Francesca Bochner On March 19, 2017, 52 new or reissued nationwide permits (NWPs) for discharges into “waters of the United States,” issued pursuant to Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act went into effect. The … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Upholds Cap-and-Trade Auctions

By Michael Romey, J.P. Brisson, Michael Dreibelbis and Andrew Westgate Yesterday, the Court of Appeals for California’s Third Appellate District issued its decision in California Chamber of Commerce, et al., vs. State Air Resources Board, et al., upholding the district court’s decision and allowing the cap-and-trade system to remain in place. The suit was filed by … Continue Reading

Environment: The Concept of Legal Personality – From Companies to Natural Entities?

By Paul Davies and Michael Green New Zealand’s Parliament has just passed a bill to enable the Whanganui River to be recognised as a legal person. It will now be represented by two nominees: one appointed by the Maori community (or Iwi), and another appointed by the government. Part of the settlement includes a fund … Continue Reading

The Erosion of Cost Caps – at the Expense of Bona Fide Environmental Challenges?

By Paul Davies and Samuel Pape Key changes to the Protective Cost Order regime (PCO) came into force on 28 February 2017, which could directly limit the ability of individuals and organisations to bring environmental-related legal challenges in England and Wales. Background The PCO was introduced in 2013 in part due for the purposes of … Continue Reading

Twin Challenges to LCFS Advance in California Courts, With Potential Implications for State’s Overall Climate Stabilization Strategy

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Max Friedman Two related cases, advancing in parallel, have the potential to upend California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), whether via full suspension of the LCFS or carving out diesel fuels from the deficit and crediting regime.[1] Both cases involve challenges by POET, LLC (POET), a South Dakota-based ethanol producer, … Continue Reading

New Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Policy Statement Potentially Expands Revenue Opportunities for Electric Storage Resources

By Michael Gergen and David E. Pettit On January 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a new policy statement entitled “Utilization of Electric Storage Resources for Multiple Services When Receiving Cost-Based Rate Recovery” (Storage Policy Statement or Policy Statement), which clarifies that electric storage resources may receive cost-based recovery for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Clean Water Rule Case Jurisdictional Challenge

By Andrea Hogan, Lucas Quass, John Morris and Steven Mach On January 13, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari for an appeal that will allow the Court to determine the proper jurisdiction for litigation challenging the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule).[1] The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) provides for original jurisdiction in the … Continue Reading

Italian Constitutional Court Publishes Grounds of its Decision on the Constitutional Legitimacy of the “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree

By Cesare Milani On December 7, 2016, the Italian Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court) rejected on appeal the claim that the new state incentives scheme, pursuant to the Italian Law Decree no. 91, dated June 24, 2014, (the Decree), which applies retrospectively to the renewable energy sector, was unconstitutional. (Please see recent blog for more information.) … Continue Reading

The Notion of “Ecological Prejudice” Now in the French Civil Code

By Michael Green With the Biodiversity Law n°2016-1087 of August 8, 2016, the French Civil code now formally recognises “ecological prejudice” (préjudice écologique) as a category of indemnifiable damage. The move is symbolically significant and builds on the recognition of this category of damages by the Court of Appeals of Paris on March 30, 2010 … Continue Reading

Sustainable Investment and ESG Compliance ─ Emerging Litigation

By Sophie Lamb and Paul Davies There is an increasing desire amongst PE firms to publicise value creation through the use of bespoke metrics to measure improvements and value derived from (ESG) policies including improved reputational risk management; better and more transparent governance; better health, environmental and safety standards; heightened efficiency; less disruption as a … Continue Reading

Italian Constitutional Court declares the question of constitutional legitimacy on the “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree ‘groundless’

By Cesare Milani On December 7, 2016 the Italian Constitutional Court (the “Constitutional Court”) rejected the appeal filed by four solar energy operators against Art. 26, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Italian Law Decree no. 91, dated June 24, 2014, (the “Decree”, so-called “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree), (introduced in 2014 by the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government). … Continue Reading
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