Latest updates

COVID-19 Phase 2 and environmental procedural law
Schoenherr
  • Austria
  • 06 July 2020

Section 3 of the Administrative COVID-19 Accompanying Law adapts the requirements for official acts and public communication with authorities to reflect the restricted freedom of movement and contact. This article examines how the revised version of Section 3 affects environmental law procedures (eg, water, environmental impact assessment, waste, construction and conservation).

New ASEA guidelines for dismantling hydrocarbon sector activities
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 15 June 2020

The National Agency for Industrial Safety and the Protection of the Environment in the Hydrocarbons Sector recently published guidelines for dismantling hydrocarbon sector activities. The guidelines are mandatory for all hydrocarbon sector facilities that carry out closing, dismantling or abandonment activities.

Switzerland to extend certain climate protection measures until 2021
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law
  • Switzerland
  • 01 June 2020

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication recently launched the consultation process for a partial revision of the CO2 Ordinance. Amendments to the ordinance are necessary to extend certain climate protection measures until the end of 2021, as recently decided by Parliament.

First adjustments to New General Law for Sustainable Forest Development
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 25 May 2020

In 2018 the New General Law for Sustainable Forest Development entered into force, introducing new legal definitions with regard to the forestry regulatory framework. In April 2020 a seemingly small yet quite relevant amendment to the law was published in the Federal Official Gazette, making various adjustments to the legal definitions set out in Article 7 of the law.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (4-10 May 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 11 May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (27 April-3 May 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 05 May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Implications of COVID-19 for legal procedures under Austrian Environmental Law
Schoenherr
  • Austria
  • 04 May 2020

In the context of local and personal COVID-19 quarantine measures – and the associated absences of officials and affected persons – a federal law (COVID-19-VwBG) was passed setting out special procedural regulations for administrative authorities, administrative courts, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court. This article discusses the implications for the legal procedures set out in the Environmental Law resulting from the new temporary COVID-19-VwBG.

CONAGUA moves forward with online procedures system during COVID-19 quarantine
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 27 April 2020

Given the current situation brought about by COVID-19 and the subsequent suspension of private and governmental activities, the National Waters Commission (CONAGUA) has been reconsidering its online procedures system, which was initially published in the Federal Official Gazette on 1 October 2018 but was not implemented until late 2019. CONAGUA's ultimate goal in this respect is the complete substitution of traditional in-person-initiated procedures with their digital counterparts.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (13-19 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 20 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Air emissions obligations for industry and service sectors
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 13 April 2020

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Ecology and Climate Chance Institute are continuing to help Mexico achieve its climate-change-related air emissions goals through data analysis, policy management and the implementation of the emissions trading system pilot programme. As such, now is an ideal time for actors in industry and service sectors to evaluate their air emissions obligations. Further, additional obligations may apply to certain facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supreme Court clarifies that relevant contractual provisions can supersede Environmental Code
Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Sweden
  • 30 March 2020

The Supreme Court recently clarified that Chapter 32 of the Environmental Code can be applied between contracting parties and that it is possible to derogate from those provisions and even exclude their application through contractual provisions. While this ruling confirms that a contracting party can safely rely on terms which modify the liability rules in the Environmental Code, it also highlights the importance of ensuring that such provisions are clearly worded and well understood.

New opportunities for renewable energy: Austrian government programme 2020 to 2024
Schoenherr
  • Austria
  • 24 February 2020

Austria's new coalition government consisting of the People's Party and the Green Party recently published its programme for the legislative period 2020 to 2024. The programme is called Taking Responsibility for Austria and should make Austria a pioneer in climate protection. The Paris Agreement climate targets are to be met at all costs, while the Climate Protection Act should ensure that Austria does not exceed its CO2 budget.

Initial approach to General Circular Economy Law initiative
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 17 February 2020

In October 2019 the General Circular Economy Law initiative was presented to the Senate for discussion and approval. The initiative was prepared in response to Mexico's increasing waste generation and aims to coordinate the attempts of the municipal, state and federal authorities to address this problem. As such, the initiative proposes granting several new powers to each level of government in order to foster the creation of a circular economy in Mexico.

Latest environmental legislation in effect and in the pipeline – 2020 overview
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law
  • Switzerland
  • 10 February 2020

This article summarises key amendments to Swiss environmental laws which either came into effect in recent months or will come into effect in the foreseeable future. Recent developments in this area concern, among other things, CO2 emissions, waste and recycling, contaminated site and soil protection, genetic engineering and new statutory limitation periods.

Response to ECJ decision on measuring air pollutants
Schoenherr
  • Austria
  • 03 February 2020

Following a European Court of Justice decision concerning the air quality measurement criteria set out in the EU Air Quality Directive, individuals in affected areas and non-governmental organisations can now take direct action in Austria against wrongfully installed air quality measuring points. The Austrian Higher Administrative Court recently addressed this matter and explained how those concerned in Austria should proceed.

Civil law as basis for interpretation in cases of allocation of responsibility for environmental damages
Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Sweden
  • 13 January 2020

In a case concerning the distribution of the cost of remediation of pollution caused by polychlorinated biphenyls, the Land and Environment Court of Appeal denied the operator compensation from the polluter for remediation costs. The case demonstrates that a civil law agreement can be deemed a relevant circumstance and be considered by a court when making its assessment of reasonableness regarding how costs for environmental damage should be distributed among joint and several liable operators.

ETS pilot programme on horizon
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 16 December 2019

The preliminary bases for Mexico's emissions trading system (ETS) pilot programme were recently published in the Federal Official Gazette. The ETS is one strategy adopted by Mexico to meet its goals under the Paris Agreement. The pilot programme will determine whether the ETS is a viable scheme for reducing Mexico's greenhouse gas emissions. Companies should follow the results closely, as these will be paramount in determining the characteristics of the operational phase.

Environmental responsibility of Swiss-based companies and related popular initiative
Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law
  • Switzerland
  • 25 November 2019

In 2016 the so-called 'Responsible Business Initiative' was submitted to the Swiss Federal Chancellery. A key element of the initiative is the introduction of a legal obligation on Swiss-based multinationals to respect international environmental standards in all of their business activities worldwide. As the popular vote on the initiative is expected to take place in February 2020, Swiss-based companies should analyse whether they may be affected and, if so, determine appropriate implementation measures.

Politics, environmental policies and permit decisions
Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Sweden
  • 11 November 2019

The legislature has decided that official decisions which could have a major impact on future environmental conduct should be made at the political level rather than through a judicial review. Although there are benefits to politicians being accountable for decisions regarding businesses that have a significant environmental impact, it remains to be seen whether the legal uncertainty in this regard will inhibit the willingness of companies to expand into Sweden.

Legislative reforms seek to reduce single-use plastic waste
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 30 September 2019

The production of single-use plastics has increased exponentially in recent decades and in Mexico the volume of single-use plastic waste now exceeds the country's recycling capabilities. In response to growing concern over the effects that plastic waste may have on the environment, a series of legislative changes have recently been implemented. Companies should keep track of any waste-related initiatives introduced at the state and federal levels and prepare for upcoming changes to their obligations.

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