ESMA final report on Article 8 of the EU Taxonomy Regulation

On 1 March 2021 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its Final Report on advice under Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation. The Final Report outlines the information that non-financial undertakings and asset managers need to provide to comply with their disclosure obligations under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The Taxonomy Regulation came into force … Read more

EU Commission approves Dutch State Aid for hydrogen production

Late 2020 recorded the publication at European level of significant documents and decisions in relation to hydrogen. In particular, following the Hydrogen Strategy implemented by the Commission in July 2020[1], on 11 December the Council published its conclusions on the steps to be taken to create a hydrogen market for Europe[2], on 17 December an … Read more

Batteries and waste batteries – EU proposes a new regulation

Batteries have been attracting increasing attention in Europe over the past few years. In 2017, the European Battery Alliance was launched and in 2019 the EU produced a Strategic Action Plan on Batteries, setting out Europe’s plan to gain increased independence from external influences in battery development. Interest in batteries continues to grow and, in … Read more

HSF advises Aquind on successful appeal of ACER decision before EGC

HSF has advised Aquind (developer of the Aquind electricity interconnector) on its successful appeal before the General Court of ACER’s decision to reject an application for exemption pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 (the “Electricity Regulation”). In particular, the General Court found that ACER’s Board of Appeal had (i) incorrectly limited its … Read more

EU Hydrogen Strategy – a call to action

On 8 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission“) published its European Hydrogen Strategy (the “Hydrogen Strategy“) and launched the industry-led European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (the “ECHA” or the “Alliance“). (1) The European Hydrogen Strategy (A) Background: A Policy Framework for Energy Transition & Decarbonisation The Hydrogen Strategy sets out the Commission’s vision for how … Read more

With its multiple facets, the legal side of decarbonisation may not be highly visible, but it is strategically important – starting now

The challenges of climate change seem to be taking a back seat to economic stimulus. However the process of decarbonising the economy should begin to pick up steam given the ecological origins of the health crisis, the call from 12 countries (including France) to make the Green Deal “a roadmap to responding to the economic crisis”, and the publication on 23 April 2020 of the decree adopting France’s low carbon strategy for achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. Read more

Investments in Energy: The Case for Oil and Gas [In a Nutshell]

Joining William Powell and Joseph Murphy of Natural Gas World, Lewis McDonald discusses what the future now looks like in terms of investments in energy, namely oil and gas. Given the burgeoning global population, rising standards of living and climate goals, there has been a serious increase in awareness and concern in global climate change around the world. The environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda is now at the top of many companies’ priorities though currently appearing to mainly affect companies in Europe and less so in Asia. Prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, ESG was the major issue being discussed in board rooms. With about 12,000 entities, together controlling around $14 trillion, divesting or wanting to divest from fossil fuels primarily based on consumer demand and consumer sentiment and where the laws and regulation are heading, we have seen rather a chilling effect on investment in the oil and gas sector – and the big question is ... where does it all go from here… Read more

Future Cities Series: Emissions down in lock-down ⁠– how can we lock-in the climate gains?

We are well into the pandemic and lockdown in many regions, so it is natural to ask the question, “when will this end and when will we return to normal”... The problem is, “normal” was not sustainable, in so many ways. Those of us in the energy industry particularly know that to be true. The “business as usual” scenario put out by the International Energy Agency in its 2019 World Energy Outlook does not make for happy reading. It had us on a crash course towards over three degrees of temperature increase due to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption. The IEA also has a “sustainable development scenario” which keeps us within the Paris limits of 1.5 degrees. The only problem is that, according to the OECD, we would need to spend €6.3 trillion per year globally in each of the next 10 years for us to get there. To give you a feeling for how much money that is, the total size of the global economy is estimated at around $86 trillion. And so the challenge seems virtually impossible. Read more