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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
In August an arbitration award was issued in the case of the ship Arctic Sunrise, involving protests by ecologists on the Pechora Sea defending the Arctic environment. The ship was seized and 30 protesters were arrested by Russian authorities.