Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: European Environmental and Public Law

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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

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

European Commission Releases a New Plastics Strategy

The ambitious proposal aims to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030. By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Betta Righini Background Amid increasing scrutiny of plastic waste, the European Commission (the Commission) has released a for plastics in a circular economy (the Strategy). The Strategy builds upon the European Union’s (the EU’s) … Continue Reading

EU Urged to Tighten Regulation of Pharmaceutical Pollution

By Michael Green and Paul Davies A coalition of medical and environmental groups has called upon the European Commission (EC) to propose specific legislation that will address pollution, in particular, by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This political development highlights the complex debate currently taking place over how to identify and address the effects of APIs. … Continue Reading

European Commission Emphasises Environmental Issues in 2018 Work Programme

By Michael Green and Paul Davies Following decision C(2017)7124 of the European Commission (EC), the EC has launched its Work Programme for 2018 (WP 2018). WP 2018 outlines plans for achieving the EC’s primary policy objectives during the next 12 months — with particular attention to environmental issues. WP 2018 outlines four “Focus Areas” (FAs) … Continue Reading

European Parliament Calls for Tougher Environmental Liability Rules

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) aims to prevent, remedy and/or compensate for environmental damage. ELD seeks to achieve this through the “polluter pays principle”, ensuring businesses are held legally and financially accountable for environmental degradation that results from their operations. However, Member States have varied considerably in implementing ELD, … Continue Reading

French HOP Complaint May Test Whether Planned Obsolescence Is a Misdemeanour

By Paul Davies and Michael Green In August 2015, the French government amended the French Energy Transition Law to include provisions rendering “planned obsolescence” a misdemeanour. In the latest wording of the provisions, article L.441-2 of the Consumer Protection Code (Code de la consommation) defines planned obsolescence as “… resorting to techniques whereby the entity … Continue Reading

European Parliament: Substances of Concern in the Circular Economy Are Difficult to Address

By Paul Davies and Michael Green A new European Parliament briefing highlights the benefits of, and difficulties associated with, transitioning the chemicals industry to a circular economy. The traditional economy typically involves purchasing and using a product, and then disposing that product when it no longer has utility (i.e. the “take-make-dispose” approach to resources). Conversely, … 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

China’s Pilot Programmes Welcome Announced Launch of Emissions Trading System

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Chinese policymakers have indicated that the country’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) — which will be the largest system of its kind globally and the centerpiece of Chinese climate change policy — is likely to launch in November 2017 “at the very earliest”. The delay will enable China to announce … Continue Reading

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Flags Dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA)

By Paul Davies and Michael Green On 16 June 2017, the Member State Committee (MSC) of the ECHA unanimously agreed to identify BPA as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under the REACH regime. BPA is common in a variety of household products, typically used in the manufacture of plastics and resins found in … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes Action to Streamline Environmental Reporting

By Jörn Kassow and Eun-Kyung Lee On June 9, 2017, the European Commission (EC) published its Action Plan to Streamline Environmental Reporting (COM(2017) 312), summarising the findings of its review of reporting requirements following the 2015 ‘Better Regulation Initiative.’ As part of this 2015 Initiative, the EC carried out a fitness check focused on assessing environmental … Continue Reading

Pharmaceuticals in The Environment: What will EU Environment Roadmap Mean for Pharmaceuticals?

By Paul Davies, Elisabetta Righini and Rosa Espin On 28 April 2017, the European Commission (the EC) published a “roadmap” on the strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment, particularly in the aquatic environment. Concurrently, the EC launched a 12-week open public consultation to address the environmental pollution caused by human and veterinarian pharmaceutical substances. … Continue Reading

“Spain United for Climate”: The Proposed New Climate Change and Energy Transition Law

By Paul Davies and Rosa Espin Spain is leading the fight against climate change with a proposed new Climate Change and Energy Transition Law. The Spanish government regards climate change as one of the greatest challenges facing the country. Since 22 April 2016, the Paris Agreement (which sets out a global action plan to avoid … Continue Reading
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