Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Summer Break

The Energy and Climate Law Blog is on summer break to enjoy the sun and recharge batteries. The blog is returning with new analyses of energy and climate law developments by August. Many thanks for your support and have a good summer time!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Second Win For the Nuclear Industry in Germany Shatters Legal Design of Nuclear Phase Out - Case Comment BVerfG2 BvL 6/13

After ruling in December 2016 that the acceleration of the nuclear phase-out in Germany by the Merkel administration was not sufficiently designed to seal it off against compensation claims, the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) yesterday delivered a second blow to the policy of phasing out nuclear power in Germany. The BVerfG declared the so called fuel element tax (Brennelementesteuer) null and void. In a groundbreaking statement the court shut down the possibilities for the state to `ìnvent` taxes, which has consequences for a proposed carbon tax in Germany.

Friday, 2 June 2017

President Trump Announces US Departure from the Paris Climate Agreement - A Legal Analysis

On 1 June 2017 President Donald Trump announced that the US is  withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. According to the White House, President Trump thinks that the accord undermines US competitiveness and jobs. But is it possible to just walk away from the Paris Agreement? What does the law say and what would be the mechanisms and the consequences that govern such a departure?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Spain’s Winning Streak in ECT Arbitration on Renewable Energy Comes to an End as the First ICSID Award is Rendered


By Cees Verburg, PhD Researcher, Groningen Centre of Energy Law

 On 4th May the first ICSID Tribunal rendered its award in a case brought by a British and Luxembourgish investor against Spain.[1] In this case the Spanish winning streak in Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitration, which consisted of victories in the Charanne v. Spain and Isolux v. Spain cases, came to an abrupt end. The Tribunal came to the conclusion that the Spanish measures, which replaced a renewable energy support scheme for a less favourable new one, amounted to a violation of the fair and equitable treatment standard of Art. 10(1) ECT. Consequently, the investors were awarded EUR 128 million in damages.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Vjosa Hydropower Project Called Off by Albanian Court

In the first-ever environmental law-suit in Albania several NGOs prevailed in stopping the government to further pursue the Vjosa dam project.  At the banks of the Vjosa, which has been described as `Europe`s last wild river´, a hydropower plant was commissioned, including a dam that was supposed to be built by a Turkish company.  The Albanian court allegedly found the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project to be `highly deficient´.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The New German `Fracking´ Package

Today my latest paper called `The new German `fracking´ package was published, open access, in the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law. The article analyses substantial incoherencies in the new German framework on hydraulic fracturing and shale gas extraction, which went into force in February 2017. It argues that these flaws make the framework susceptible to, potentially successful, legal challenges by energy companies in the future.

Monday, 24 April 2017

New study reveals that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is not working

A new study of the German research group Öko-Institut found that a mere 2 per cent of projects under the clean development mechanism (CDM) had a high probability to lead to additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The poor performance of the CDM reflects badly on a central pillar of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which was thought to give poor countries access to new technologies and financial means.