Environmental Democracy archive

  • silhouette of bird

    ClientEarth lawyers win ground-breaking legal victory for EU transparency and accountability

    In a landmark judgment for participatory democracy, Europe’s top court has ruled in favour of ClientEarth lawyers in a long-running case for greater transparency in the European Union.

  • Sofia early sun scallop tiles

    Bulgarian president rejects cost hike on green court cases

    President cites “drastically increased fees” and warns of major threat to Bulgarian democracy.

  • Illuminated church in Sofia, Bulgaria

    Bulgaria puts price tag on environmental justice

    Bulgaria has passed a law today that restricts people, public institutions and NGOs’ ability to go to court for the environment.

  • EU Ombudsman’s decision reinforces lack of access to justice in State aid matters

    In a disappointing decision, the EU Ombudsman has confirmed the EU Commission’s interpretation of the State aid rules that only competitors can have the status of “an interested party”.

  • Council of the EU asks the Commission to comply with access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention

    The European Council has requested the Commission to submit a study on the Union’s options to explore ways and means to comply with the Aarhus Convention.

  • EU delays compliance with international environment treaty

    The welcome push for the European Commission to obey a vital international environmental treaty could be unacceptably delayed due to the unambitious deadline set by the Council.

  • European Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank

    The European Ombudsman has asked the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase transparency in its lending activities.

  • Mountain path in Snowdonia

    UK government’s green watchdog plans lack legal punch

    ClientEarth calls on the UK government to strengthen its plans for an environmental watchdog after consultation reveals a toothless body post-Brexit.

  • Discussions in Brussels could lead to improved environmental democracy

    High hopes for improved public access to EU courts after talks at a meeting of the Council of the EU.

  • statue

    Belgian court provides opportunity to set binding precedent on the right of the public to enforce air quality monitoring rules

    The Court of First Instance of Brussels issued an interim judgment in the clean air case that ClientEarth is pursuing against the Brussels Regional government.

  • German NGO refused standing to challenge passenger car type approval

    On 13 December 2017 the Administrative Court of Schleswig Holstein handed down judgment in a case on access to justice for NGOs decided under the newly amended Environmental Appeals Act 2017. Following the entry into force of the amendment in August last year, legal discussions on its scope continue.

  • New project will help Europeans go to court to protect the environment

    Europeans should be able to bring environmental cases to court more easily in future, as ClientEarth and Justice and Environment have jointly launched the “Access to Justice for a greener Europe” (A2J EARL) project.

  • The challenge of challenging air quality programs in Poland – The Silesian air quality program and the issue of standing

    In February 2016, a resident of the town of Rybnik located in the region of Silesia, Poland, demanded that the Silesian Regional Assembly amend the air quality program it had adopted in 2014 for the region of Silesia.

  • European Parliament calls on the Commission to propose legislation on Access to Justice in Member States and the EU

    On 15 November, the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2017/2819 calling on the Commission to ensure better implementation of EU nature laws by proposing legislation on access to justice in Member States and the EU.

  • glass wall

    EU court enforces transparency obligations in Commission administrative procedures

    New analysis by Maximillian Kemp – EU court enforces transparency obligations in Commission administrative procedures.

  • children playing next to water

    European Parliament adopts Resolution on EU Action for Sustainability

    In September 2015, the United Nations adopted a resolution on “Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development”. This resolution established 17 sustainable development goals and overall 169 targets to be reached by 2030.

  • New Commission strategy: infringement proceedings only for policy priorities

    The Commission has clarified its new strategy to only open infringement proceedings where they align with its policy priorities

  • woodland

    Aarhus Convention Meeting of Parties refuses to adopt EU position and defers decision to 2021

    Following the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee’s findings that the EU is in breach of the access to justice provisions of the Aarhus Convention, the EU Council adopted a decision to merely “take note” of the findings, rather than endorse them,

  • burning-rubbish

    Landowner can be held liable for waste incineration he did not know about

    The Court of Justice has ruled that a national law requiring a landowner to pay a pecuniary fine for the incineration of waste on his land that he did not know about is compatible with EU law.

  • biogas plant

    Ex-post environmental impact assessments can be compatible with EU law

    The Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) carried out following the realisation of the project in question is compatible with EU law in the situation where the authorities and the constructors acted in good faith.

  • nuclear power cooling towers

    The ACCC confirms public participation obligations regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in a transboundary context

    The construction of nuclear power plants in a transboundary context require the government of the country of origin to ensure participation of the public concerned in its own territory as well as that of the neighbouring countries affected.

  • Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee confirms that access to courts to challenge wind turbine permits cannot be dependent only on distance

    The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has ruled that access to courts to challenge wind turbine permits cannot be dependent only on the distance from the complainer’s property.

  • Stem Cell Research

    European Court of Justice confirms presumption of confidentiality covering EU pilot procedure documents

    The European Court of Justice has confirmed the existence of yet another category of documents that can be covered by a presumption of confidentiality.

  • dramatic glass architecture

    On environmental information, only docs revealing deliberations can be kept secret

    In this case, the European Court of Justice relies on the Aarhus Convention to confirm that, when it comes to environmental information, only documents that reveal the decision-makers’ deliberations can be kept secret.