Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: European Environmental and Public Law

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EU Issues Final Report on Climate Benchmarks and ESG Disclosures

Technical Expert Group recommends minimum requirements for two new benchmarks. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 30 September 2019, the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) published its final report on climate benchmarks and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures (the Report), as well as a summary of the Report. … Continue Reading

German Government Adopts Climate Action Programme 2030

The Programme includes a new CO2 pricing regime aimed at emissions caused by the building sector and by traffic and transport. By Jörn Kassow On 20 September 2019, the German government adopted the Climate Action Programme 2030, a plan to ensure that Germany achieves its climate protection goals for 2030, including a reduction of greenhouse … Continue Reading

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments Request for preliminary ruling from the Hague Court of Appeal confirms that the concepts of “waste” and “discard” must be interpreted broadly. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently handed down its judgment in response to a request … Continue Reading

European Commission Publishes New Guidelines on Corporate Climate-Related Reporting

The guidelines, along with three new reports on green finance, demonstrate the European Commission’s intent in respect of meeting its Paris Agreement targets. By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green and Clément Pradille On June 18, 2019, the European Commission (Commission) published new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as well as three new reports … Continue Reading

Committee on Climate Change Recommends UK Government Adopt 2050 Net-Zero Greenhouse Gases Budget

The Committee has recommended that the UK government take the lead in reaching net-zero, through social, financial, and policy change. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a statutory body that advises the UK government on carbon budgets, has recommended that the UK government should commit to cutting … Continue Reading

2012 German Law on Renewable Energy Does Not Constitute State Aid

ECJ ruling provides EU Member States more flexibility in designing the promotion of renewable energies. By Jörn Kassow and Alexander Wilhelm The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that the German Renewable Energy Act of 2012 (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz – EEG 2012) did not constitute State aid (C-405/16 P). The ECJ found that the support mechanism … Continue Reading

EU Announces Stricter Emissions Standards for Cars and Commercial Vans

EU will tax manufacturers for excess emissions and collect individual consumption data from vehicles in order to meet climate change goals. By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch The EU is setting stricter CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). A new regulation on CO2 emission standards (Regulation (EU) No 2019/631), … Continue Reading

German Government Commission Agrees to Phase Out Coal Power Plants by 2038

The Coal Commission’s phase-out proposal includes a €40 billion federal spending package for affected states. By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch A German government-appointed body, known colloquially as the “Coal Commission”, has agreed to end coal-fired power generation by 2038. In an effort to meet Germany’s climate goals under the Paris Agreement, the Coal Commission … Continue Reading

Circular Economy and End of Waste Status: French Government Issues Criteria and Procedures

Waste producers must comply with new criteria and procedures for objects and products to benefit from end of waste status. By Paul Davies The French government has developed many measures to foster circular economy approaches. Most recently, a Ministerial Order of 11 December 2018 (Order) sets out criteria and procedures to end the waste status … Continue Reading

Climate Litigation Targets the French Government

Four NGOs launch innovative action claiming state has not met COP21 objectives. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 17 December 2018, four NGOs filed legal action against the French state. In the legal action, the NGOs argued that the state has not met the short-term climate change objectives set at COP21. The … Continue Reading

Katowice Climate Change Conference Agrees on Rulebook for Implementing Paris Agreement

The deal establishes rules and guidelines for how governments will track, report on, and verify emissions-cutting efforts. By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch Delegates from 196 countries and the European Union convened in Katowice, Poland, in December for two weeks of negotiations on creating a common rulebook for putting the Paris Agreement into practice. The … Continue Reading

Environment Agency Data Shows Spike in Enforcement Undertakings in England and Wales

The growth in the level of undertakings throughout 2018 tallies with a general increase in environmental enforcement. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Environment Agency has released data indicating that enforcement undertakings in England and Wales reached more than £2.2 million in 2018 — the highest-ever levels within a single year. The amounts … Continue Reading

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
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