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Norway: Supreme Court Rules on Scope of Climate Provision in Constitution, Finds Government May Issue Exploratory Arctic Drilling Permits

(Mar. 31, 2021) On December 22, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that the Norwegian Constitution does not prevent the country’s government from issuing permits to explore drilling in the Arctic. (Supreme Court Decision HR-2020-2472-P (sak nr. 20-051052SIV-HRET), Dec. 22, 2020.) In doing so, the Supreme Court also established the boundaries and meaning of the […]

Italy: Law on Ratification and Implementation of Nuclear Energy Treaties Promulgated

(Sept. 2, 2020) On July 23, 2020, the president of Italy promulgated a new law implementing several multinational nuclear energy treaties, fulfilling the treaties’ implementation requirements, and amending Italian legislation to update provisions on nuclear damage and liability. Law No. 97 of July 23, 2020 ratifies and orders the implementation of the “Paris Convention” (Convention […]

Germany: Law on Phasing-Out Coal-Powered Energy by 2038 Enters into Force

(Aug. 31, 2020) On August 14, 2020, the Act to Reduce and End Coal-Powered Energy and Amend Other Laws (Coal Phase-Out Act) entered into force in Germany. The Coal Phase-Out Act aims to gradually reduce and eventually end the use of coal-powered energy in Germany by 2038 in order to “reduce emissions and provide the […]

European Union: Commission Proposes European Climate Law to Achieve Climate Neutrality by 2050

(Apr. 7, 2020) On March 4, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published a proposal for a regulation (European Climate Law). The proposal would codify the European Union’s (EU’s) goal to become climate neutral by 2050 in accordance with the European Green Deal of December 2019. An EU regulation has general application. It is binding in […]

France: Law on Energy and Climate Adopted

(Dec. 4, 2019) On November 8, 2019, the French president signed Loi n° 2019-1147 du 8 novembre 2019 relative à l’énergie et au climat (Law No. 2019-1147 of 8 November 2019 Regarding Energy and Climate). This law was adopted as part of France’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement to address climate change, and seeks […]

China: Law on Resource Tax Passed

(Nov. 22, 2019) On August 26, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted the PRC Resource Tax Law. The Law subjects 164 natural resources, including salt, crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other minerals, to the resource tax and prescribes their respective […]

Italy: New Provisions on Worker Protection and Employment-Related Corporate Crises Take Effect

(Oct. 25, 2019) On September 5, 2019, Decree Law No. 101 of September 3, 2019 (Decreto-Legge 3 settembre 2019, n. 101) (D.L. No. 101), containing urgent measures to provide worker protection and financial aid to resolve employment-related corporate crises in economically depressed areas of the country, entered into force in Italy. Worker Protection Measures New […]

Australia: Court Includes Climate Impact in Grounds for Upholding Rejection of New Coal Mine

(Feb. 27, 2019) On February 8, 2019, the New South Wales (NSW) Land and Environment Court issued a ruling in which it dismissed an appeal from a mining company against a NSW government decision refusing to grant the company approval to establish a new open-cut coal mine. (Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] […]

Japan: Water Supply Act Amended

(Dec. 18, 2018) In an effort to counter issues faced by water supply businesses arising from both a decrease in water demand caused by Japan’s population decline and a decrease in the number of aging water facilities, the Diet (Japanese Parliament) has passed an act that amends the Water Supply Act. (Act No. 92 of […]

Togo: Parliament Adopts Bill to Promote Power Generation from Clean Sources

(Oct. 15, 2018) On July 24, 2018, Togo’s Parliament adopted a bill to promote power generation from clean sources. (Ouverture de la deuxième session extraordinaire de l’année 2018 [2018’s Second Extraordinary Assembly], Assemblée Nationale Togolais [Togolese National Assembly] website (all translations by author).) The bill was approved unanimously and includes 59 articles organized in seven […]