Judgment day in Norwegian climate case: The State won, the decision to award oil & gas production licenses was valid and environmental organisations must pay legal costs (4 January 2018)


The Oslo District Court has today, 4 January 2018, delivered its judgment in the case concerning the validity of decision awarding oil and gas production licenses in the Arctic waters of Norway, in the Barents Sea.
What is the case about
The case is about the validity of the decision taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and validated by the King in Council on 10 June 2016, to award petroleum production licenses as part of the 23rd licensing round in an area close to the ice edge in the South East of the Barents Sea. This happened after that the ice edge line was moved further North and the opening of new areas int eh Barent Sea in 2013 in that region.
The plantiffs are two environmental organisations, GreenPeace Norway and Natur and Ungdom, who submitted that the decission was illegal on two grounds:
  1. the new provision of §112 of the Norwegian Constitution (environment provision) was breached;
  2. the decision was unfounded and breached administrative law procedural requirements by an incomplete impact assessment.


29th European Energy Law Seminar is now open for registration: 22-23 January 2018, The Hague, NL

The 29th European Energy Law Seminar (EELS) will be held in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 22-23 January 2018.

The Seminar is a unique opportunity to review the latest EU energy law developments and discuss in detail legal developments, case law and practice in the field with colleagues from all over Europe. So, hold the date and see you in The Hague!

On the programme: status of the Clean Energy legislative package, update on Brexit, REMIT implementation, review of EU case law, digitalisation from blockchain to data management and cyber security, energy aggregators, decommissioning and re-use of offshore installations, power-to-gas, energy storage, hydropower concessions, new gas market design.

The seminar is co-organised by the the Dutch Energy Law Association, the University of Groningen and the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.


Just out: European Energy Law Report XI (Intersentia, 2017) (co-edit)

Building on the presentations held at the annual European Energy Law Seminar taking place every January in The Hague (NL), this book reviews central energy law issues from a national, EU and international perspective. A must have!

This volume includes chapters on “EU Energy and Climate Law – Policy and Jurisprudence”, “Energy and Climate Treaty Developments”, “Energy Infrastructure Developments: Offshore Electricity Systems and Network Investments”, “Heat Supply Legislation in the EU” and “Security of Energy Supply and Safety”.

Reference: ISBN 9781780684697


New book: a Comprehensive Legal Framework for the Development of Offshore Wind Power (Kluwer, 2017)

Just out, here is a new book on offshore wind regulation. The publication takes a comparative approach by reviewing applicable regulations and market conditions in 10 jurisdictions in Europe and Pacific Asia.

It has been a honour to contribute to this publication by authoring two chapters, one on France (Chapter 3) and one on Norway (Chapter 5).

Reference: The Development of a Comprehensive Legal Framework for the Promotion of Offshore Wind Power, Anton Ming-Zhi Gao and Chien-Te Fan (eds.),  Kluwer Law International, 2017, ISBN 9789041183972.


Seminar on climate litigation, Bergen, 31 October 2017

On 31 October 2017, I will have the pleasure to be part of a panel discussion on the topic of climate change litigation in Bergen. The event - free and open to all - is organised by the Centre on Law and Social Transformation of the University of Bergen.


Paper on French energy policy: "An EU-induced Turn to a Market-based French RES Governance?"

Last week we presented a joint paper on energy policy in France. The paper is part of the Research project REMIX and has been presented, in a preliminary version, at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in Oslo, on 7 September 2017.

The draft version of the paper called "An EU-induced turn to a marked-based France RES governance" is available here.

The paper is a multidisciplinary collaboration between law and political science.

The final version of the paper will be available by the end of 2017.

Authors: Catherine Banet, University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, and Jørgen Wettestad, Fridtjof Nansen Institute.

More about the REMIX Project here.


Transport of a Russian floating nuclear energy plant along the Norwegian coasts: Norwegian government satisfied by the approach adopted

Norway is used to ship traffic along its coasts, but the announced venue of this vessel has raised particular concerns. In the summer of 2018, the floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonosov, will sail along the Norwegian coasts, as part of its Journey from the Baltic Shipyard of St. Petersburg to Murmansk (where refueling will apparently take place). On 22 July 2017, the Norwegian government announced its satisfaction over the decision made by Rosatom (Russian state nuclear energy Corporation), the operator, that there will not be nuclear fuel on board when the plant will be transported along the coast of Norway (see press release).

Even if projects for floating nuclear power plants - also called Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPP) - were developed in the 1960s, the Akademik Lomonosov will be the first plant of its kind, and pave the way to a new international market segment as other countries have shown interest in the technology.


Draft project of a Global Pact for the Environment - Text made available

On 24 June 2017, the French legal think tank Le Club des Juristes presented to the President of the French Republic the draft project of a Global Pact of the Environment drafted by a group of international environmental lawyers.

The text is available for download in both French:

and English:

Source: Website of Le Club des Juristes