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
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
On 18 March 2020, the European Commission published a draft text of the Agreement on the New Partnership with the UK (the EU’s “draft agreement”); a previous draft of which had been published on 12 March 2020. Following the third negotiating round on the UK exit from the EU on 15 May 2020, the UK published on 19 May 2020 draft legal texts of a comprehensive free trade agreement (the UK’s “draft CFTA”) and a suite of accompanying, but separate, draft international agreements, two of which were a draft agreement on energy (the UK’s “draft energy agreement”) and a draft agreement on civil nuclear (the UK’s “draft civil nuclear agreement”). These drafts had been shared with the Commission during the preceding weeks, but not the Member States. Read more
If we look at the last few months, the energy markets have been hit by two crises. The first one, the most obvious, due to a slump in demand as a result of the lock-down and the halt in... Read more
We are delighted to present an update to our European Energy Handbook. The European Energy Handbook usually reports on regulatory, legal and market developments in the European energy sector. However, these are not usual times as the COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant health, social and economic challenges worldwide, forcing governments and businesses to critically assess the impact on their people, operations and governance. In many jurisdictions, governments have made available support schemes for businesses in an effort to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on their businesses. In this special edition, we cover 52 jurisdictions across the globe. Read more
Herbert Smith Freehills has helped secure an important victory for the Kingdom of Spain in a long-running investor-state arbitration concerning regulatory changes made by Spain in 2010 to the Feed-in Tariff regulation governing the photovoltaic (“PV”) sector in Spain. On February 28, 2020, a Tribunal constituted by...
Now in its eleventh edition, the European Energy Handbook 2019 - 2020 provides an in-depth survey of current issues in the energy sector in 42 European jurisdictions.
This year's edition focuses on recent legal and commercial developments in each jurisdiction, and covers issues such as the Energy Union, the adoption of the latest package of EU energy legislation, and the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' bundle of directives and regulations updating the EU's energy policy framework to facilitate the decarbonisation of the sector and the transition towards cleaner energy. Climate change, the energy transition and associated challenges are...
The Energy Charter Conference has issued a declaration following the 29th meeting of its Members. This year's conference, hosted by Romania, focused on the role of innovation in driving energy security, sustainability and prosperity. The declaration reiterates commitment to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and the principles of the 2015 International Energy Charter. However, it also commits to starting discussions on the modernisation of the ECT, which it describes as "essential" to address developments in the energy sector, including decarbonisation, digitalisation and electrification. The planned modernisation is also intended to "bring the investment protection of the ECT in line with modern standards... Read more