Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: European Environmental and Public Law

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New JRC Report Reviews Progress in Tackling Soil Contamination

The report supports the efforts of the EU’s Seventh Environment Action Programme. By Alexander Wilhelm According to a report prepared by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) — the European Commission’s science and knowledge service — countries across Europe are making progress on tackling soil contamination. The report[i] states that the management of contaminated sites in … Continue Reading

European General Court Accepts Landmark Climate Change Litigation

Individuals join growing global trend of citizens bringing climate change litigation in a bid to hold governments to account. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European General Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to EU climate legislation for inadequate targets for reducing climate change. Ten families from around the world … Continue Reading

Green Finance Institute to Launch in London

Initiative will advance the UK’s Paris Agreement targets by serving as a “one-stop shop for world-leading climate science, and for capital.” By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced plans to launch a Green Finance Institute (GFI), through funding from both the UK government and the City of London Corporation. … Continue Reading

EU Aims to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Europe’s Buildings with New Directive

Building owners and developers will need to provide energy performance certificates for buildings. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Union has published a directive aimed at improving building energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. EU Member States are required to transpose the directive (Directive (EU) 2018/844) by March 10, 2020. The … Continue Reading

Protecting the Environment Under the French Constitution: The Story Continues

Lawmakers will debate an amendment to include the country’s environmental commitments in Article 1 of France’s Constitution. By Fabrice Fages MPs in France have adopted an amendment to include a new paragraph in Article 1 of the French Constitution. The amendment reads: “France acts towards the preservation of the environment and biological diversity, and against … Continue Reading

EU Increases Renewable Energy Target in Preparation for Renewable Energy Directive

The EU has agreed that one third of energy use should be from renewable sources and encourages the use of renewable electricity or biofuels sourced from waste rather than crops. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green After 18 months of negotiations, the EU has increased its renewable energy target from 27% to 32% … Continue Reading

The EU Adopts Four Directives to Solidify Europe’s Leading Position in Waste Management

The Circular Economy Package aims to “close the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use. By Paul A. Davies, Eun-Kyung Lee, and Patrick Braasch The Circular Economy Package includes four directives that were adopted by the European Parliament on 18 April 2018 (see Latham’s previous post) and by the EU Council on 22 … Continue Reading

EU Must Improve Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Comply With Aarhus Convention

The European Commission will submit a study and a proposal to reassess individuals’ right to challenge crucial decisions before EU courts. By Rosa Espín and Leticia Sitges The Council of the European Union (the EU) has recently issued a formal decision requesting that the European Commission submit a study to identify options for addressing identified … Continue Reading

Investing in the Environment — European Commission Announces Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund will promote advanced low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote decarbonisation. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green By the end of 2018, the European Commission will set up an Innovation Fund (the Fund) to aid decarbonisation. To achieve this, the European Commission will amend the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

Overview and Notable Features of the European Commission’s Proposed Sustainable Finance Regulations

Measures aim to establish consistent criteria for sustainable investments, as well as clear market standards for investors. By Paul A. Davies and Aaron E. Franklin Overview The European Commission (EC) has set out its first proposal for “concrete actions” to help the EU financial sector take the lead in establishing a greener economy and supporting … Continue Reading

Conseil d’Etat Issues Advisory Opinion on Environmental Permits Challenged Before Administrative Courts

A recent Environmental Code amendment aims to invigorate sluggish legal processes delaying environmental project development. By Paul A. Davies and Fabrice Fages Third parties and local NGOs often bring legal action against environmental permits in France, hampering the development of environmental projects in the country. An example of a practical consequence is that the development … Continue Reading

EC Refers Member States to ECJ Over Failure to Control Air Pollution

After neglecting to heed an initial warning, six Member States may face financial penalties if they do not reduce pollution levels. By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and Alexander Wilhelm The European Commission (EC) has referred the UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Romania to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to … Continue Reading

IMO Strategy to Halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping By 2050

The Initial Strategy provides the first global climate framework for the shipping sector and will support Paris Agreement targets. By Paul Davies, Janice Schneider, and Eun-Kyung Lee Background In April 2018, the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international shipping (Initial … Continue Reading

Post-Brexit Environmental Principles and Governance Bill Consultation Launches in UK

Consultation document proposes replacing the European Commission with a new environmental watchdog, among other recommendations. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The UK government has announced a consultation in relation to the proposed new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill, which aims to ensure maintained and strengthened environmental protection following the UK’s exit from … Continue Reading

EU Council Decision to Streamline Green Reporting and Reduce Administrative Burden on Member States

Decision is third initiative of the EC’s REFIT programme to simplify regulation for Member States. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The EU Council has adopted a decision to reduce and consolidate EU environmental reporting legislation in order to decrease bureaucracy and costs as well as to simplify environmental reporting compliance for Member … Continue Reading

France Takes Steps to Address Climate Change Through Constitutional Reform

Intense lobbying surrounds a recent proposal to amend Article 34 of the Constitution. By Paul Davies and Fabrice Fages French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe recently unveiled a series of proposed modifications to the French Constitution that align with President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign platform. The proposals, which were unveiled on April 4, face objections from a … Continue Reading

European Parliament Adopts Circular Economy Package

Member States will follow a single EU legislative framework merging industrial policies and environmental protection to encourage sustainable economic and social development. By Paul A. Davies and Jörn Kassow The European Parliament adopted the new Circular Economy Package, on 18 April 2018, setting ambitious, legally binding EU targets for waste recycling and reduction of landfilling. … Continue Reading

Green Finance Taskforce Publishes First Report to Boost UK’s Green Economy

The action plan recommends leveraging London’s leading role in global green finance to grow green opportunities. By Paul A. Davies The Green Finance Taskforce’s first report, “Accelerating Green Finance,” advises the UK government on how to achieve important green finance goals, carbon targets in relation to the Paris Agreement. The report, published on 28 March, … Continue Reading

The European Commission Reviews Free Allocation Rules in EU Emissions Trading System

The EC is seeking feedback on its roadmap for the next EU Emissions Trading System revision. By Paul A. Davies, Lars Kjølbye, Elisabetta Righini, and Guendalina Catti De Gasperi The European Commission (EC) has launched an initiative for the revision of EU-wide rules for the free allocation of emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

The Spanish Government Launches Public Consultation on the Circular Economy Strategy

Spain takes a further step towards sustainable development with consultation on draft Circular Economy Strategy. By Rosa Espín and Leticia Sitges The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment has launched a public consultation on a draft Circular Economy Strategy, which will involve the business sector, not-for-profit entities, and citizenship in the drafting process. … Continue Reading

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Highlights Opportunities for Financing New Economy*

Transparency regarding mitigation and financing rules likely to be key hurdles to overcome in achieving climate goals. By Rosa Espin, Paul Davies, and Michael Green The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, recently commented on momentum in the European Union (EU) regarding climate change and the action that countries across the … Continue Reading

German Coalition Talks Hint at Key Elements of German Environmental Policy 2018-2021

A coalition government would likely focus on energy, transportation, and the automotive industry to meet Paris Agreement targets. By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Background After the 2017 German parliamentary elections, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) faced difficulties in forming a new government. However, the parties have now agreed on … Continue Reading
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