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New Publication: The `Trias` - A New Methodology For Energy Law

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A new article has been published in the journal European Energy and Environmental Law Review  (Ruven Fleming `The `Trias`- A New Methodology For Energy Law` (October 2019) Volume 28 Number 5 European Energy and Environmental Law Review pages 2 - 13).

The abstract can be found below and the article will become available online here.

Climate Case Urgenda Reloaded? - Not In Germany (VG Berlin No 37/2019) Case Comment

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Yesterday the administrative court of Berlin rejected a climate case brought by three German organic farmers and their families together with Greenpeace. According to the claimants the court should rule that the German government is not doing enough to meet its own climate targets. Germany is highly likely to miss its aim of reducing Co2 emissions by 40 % in 2020, compared to 1990 levels. That aim was spelled out in a cabinet decision of the German government (inter alia, page 4 of its 2010 energy concept), but never made it into actual law. The claimants argued that, precisely because of the fact that a climate law was lacking in Germany by that time, this political decision of the government acquired legally binding status, as opposed to a pure political ´good will´ obligation. The case, in trying to compel a government to make good on its own climate action promises, somewhat resembles the infamous Urgenda case (discussed earlier on this blog), but there are significant difference…

EU-MERCOSUR Trade Deal In Peril

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The ´largest trade agreement the EU has ever concluded´ (Jean Claude Juncker) is again in peril. While the EU-MERCOSUR deal was agreed by the end of June 2019, a growing number of EU Member States are wary about ratification of the deal. The free trade deal came under intensified scrutiny in summer because of the wild fires in the Brazilian Amazonas region in the context of land clearance and the initial refusal of the Bolsonaro government to acknowledge the issue.

Poland: The New Battleground For Climate Litigation

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A string of climate law suits has been launched in Poland. Several legal actions against coal fired power plants in the country are putting Europe`s biggest producer of coal into the spotlight. By the end of September the NGO Client Earth started legal action against the company running Poland`s biggest coal fired power plant `Bełchatów´, which is well known for burning polluting lignite coal. But there are also other interesting cases.

New Climate Package in Germany - Can it Deliver?

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Today a new climate package has been released in Germany. In the build-up to the event all major politicians of the country called this the `make-or-break` point of German climate policy. For years Germany failed to meet its climate objectives and is sure to miss its greenhouse gas emission targets for 2020. Especially the transport and the heating sectors do not deliver. So which implementation measures to reach Germany`s climate goals are envisaged? And why took more than 1 million people in Germany to the streets (`climate strike`) in protest?

Onshore Wind Faces Severe Crisis In Germany

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35 new windmills have so far been build in Germany in 2019. Only 6 years ago, in 2012, there were more than 1000 new windmills per year. The onshore wind sector is the most prominent example of a flatlining energy transition and a severe renewable energy crisis, in a country that not long ago took much pride in giving the word `Energiewende´ to the world. A `Wind Summit´ of the German government now tried to revive the sector, but no discernible progress has been made. Windmill producers are criticizing a lack of legal certainty, but also say that `sweet spots´are already taken and NIMBY attitudes are on the rise.

German Fracking Commission Issued First Report

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The German `expert commission´, installed to monitor developments concerning fracking in Germany, recently issued its first annual report. So called ´unconventional fracking´ for oil and gas (fracking layers of shale-, argillite and marlstone rock strata, as well as in coal seams) is prohibited in Germany, whereas so called `conventional fracking´ (in sandstone at great depths) is allowed. By 2021 the German parliament will have to re-asses the prohibition of ´unconventional fracking´. Until then the `expert commission´, established in 2018, shall monitor the situation. In its now issued first report the commission states that no exceptional application for scientific research related to unconventional fracking trials has been made.