environmental protection

The Polar Code is now in force: New regulations and new challenges

The Polar Code entered into force at the beginning of 2017. It is a major event for companies in the maritime industry navigating in Arctic and Antarctic regions.

What is a “reasonable alternative” for a development project?

An environmental impact assessment report must contain a description of the alternatives for the proposed project that were studied: the investor’s proposal, the most environmentally beneficial alternative, and a reasonable alternative. The last notion raises the most doubts.

Will trade secrets be less protected next year?

The amendment to environmental impact assessment regulations entering into force at the beginning of 2017 will also change regulations governing access to environmental information constituting trade secrets.

New Water Law. New fees. New payment rules.

“Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such,” states the Water Framework Directive. The principle of the recovery of the costs of water services is being introduced to encourage savings and optimal use of water. This will be a substantial burden for many businesses.

Circular economy: The EU’s ambitious new goals for management of products and waste

The circular economy is a model in which products, materials and resources are kept in circulation for as long as possible, and generation of waste is kept to a minimum. Implementation of this model would respond to the challenges of climate change and the need to support sustainable growth.

Multinational companies can be liable for environmental harm caused by their subsidiaries

On 18 December 2015 the Dutch Court of Appeal at The Hague issued an interim judgment in a closely watched case concerning liability for environmental injury caused by an oil spill from Shell’s pipelines in Nigeria.