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Showing posts from January, 2018

Dutch Court Landmark Decision On Compensation Of Victims Of Gas-Extraction Induced Earthquakes

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By Joris Gazendam, LLM, PhD Researcher University of Groningen

On 23 January 2018 the Court of Appeal Arnhem-Leeuwarden ruled in a case between claimants living in the province of Groningen and the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (hereinafter: NAM). The case revolved around damages as a result of earthquakes which are caused by the extraction of natural gas in the province of Groningen. The main legal question was whether the owners of houses can claim compensation for the devaluation of their houses even if they do not sell their (whether or not physically damaged) houses.Normally, the financial loss for the owner of a house becomes visible on the moment of sale. In this case the owners explicitly wanted to be compensated even if they would not sell their house. The Court of Appeal ruled that an owner of a house can only once claim compensation for damages. Parties are free to decide on a reference date on which the depreciation is to be determined. On this date a real estate expert…

Oil Stocks Stand-Off: European Commission is taking Romania to Court

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The European Commission announced last thursday (25 January 2018) that it is initiating an infringement procedure against Romania in front of the Court of Justice. The Commission alleges that Romania failed to correctly implement and apply the Oil Stocks Directive (Council Directive 2009/119/EU). The current Romanian legislation prohibits the use of oil stocks as collaterals, i.e. assets offered to secure a loan. This prohibition could make it more difficult for economic operators to fulfil their obligation to hold stocks. According to the Commission, Romania has also incorrectly implemented the rules concerning the right of economic operators to delegate their obligation to hold stocks and the establishment of emergency procedures in the event of a major supply disruption. Romania says it already amended its laws, but needs more time.

A New Government For Germany – Preliminary Energy and Climate Plans Published

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In September 2017 Germany held general elections, but there still is no new government yet. After talks between the Conservatives (CDU/CSU), the Liberals (FDP) and the Greens broke down last year, Angela Merkel is trying to form a governmental `grand coalition´ between CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD). Both parties recently ended exploratory negotiations and issued a joint statement on 12 January 2018 that gives a first indication of Germany´s policy plans for the next 4 years. Although the paper is not yet a full-fledged coalition agreement, it nonetheless details the main policy lines that the possible new German government is intending to follow. So what does it have to say on energy and the climate ?