Environment, Land & Resources

Tag Archives: Europe

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

Basel Convention Extends to Include Transboundary Movements of Plastic Waste

The significant extension aims to manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound manner and support less developed nations that import waste. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On May 10, 2019, following two weeks of negotiations involving 1,400 delegates, at the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, it was … 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

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

China Reinforces Renewable Energy Commitment With Significant European Wind Investments

Chinese investors continue to build knowledge of the wind sector through European investment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has traditionally focused more on developing coal and hydroelectric power, which provide relatively constant output, instead of wind and solar, which depend on whether conditions. However, recently, government-owned power producers have begun making … 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

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

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

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

Environment: The Year Ahead

By Paul Davies, Antonio Morales, Jörn Kassow, Joachim Grittmann and Cesare Milani The year ahead presents a series of challenges and opportunities for the development of environmental law across Europe. Notably, the Paris Agreement came into effect on 4 November 2016 and is now binding upon the signatory countries. The European signatory countries will therefore be … Continue Reading
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