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Transportation of CO2 – an emerging market

Following the Paris Agreement, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has emerged as a promising tool to substantially reduce carbon emissions. Whilst CCS’s potential is considerable, it is still a developing industry that needs efficient means of transportation.


EU ETS: New Standard Template from BIMCO and Key Considerations

Following the inclusion of shipping in the EU's emissions trading system on 1 January 2024, the focus is now shifting to the practical aspects of compliance with the regulations, including monitoring, reporting, and surrendering of allowances.


WR ESG Alert: Another landmark ruling on climate change and human rights, and rules to protect against forced labour and abusive court proceedings

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight the recent landmark climate judgment from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as legislative developments in the EU, including new rules on free allocation of emission allowances, protection of persons who engage in public participation, a revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive, and the approval by the European Parliament of the Forced Labour Regulation.


EU Council and Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approves amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

On 15 March 2024, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the Council of the European Union (the "Council") surprisingly approved an amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (the "CS3D"). On 19 March, the amended draft of the CS3D was approved by the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament.


WR ESG Alert: Key decisions by Norwegian and French courts relating to the environment and crimes against humanity

In this month's ESG alert, we describe the recent decision by France's highest court which paves the way for charges to be brought against Lafarge for complicity in crimes against humanity and a decision by Oslo District Court which invalidates three Norwegian oil and gas field permits on environmental grounds.


WR ESG Alert: EU agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and updates to and expansion of a range of environmental obligations

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight that political agreement has been reached at EU level with respect to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation as well as new rules to strengthen the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. We also describe an expanded scope for sustainability disclosure obligations following a report by the European Supervisory Authorities and revisions to the Norwegian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act.


EU agreement on corporate due diligence rules to safeguard human rights and environment

On 14 December 2023, the European Parliament and the European Council informally agreed on a new directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (the "CS3D" or the "directive") obliging firms to integrate their human rights and environmental impact into their management systems. The directive has been called a historic breakthrough in the way companies are now responsible for potential abuse in their value chain. Subsequent to the negotiations, the Lead MEP said that this was a starting point for shaping the economy of the future.


FuelEU Maritime Pooling – A new commercial opportunity for shipping companies?

The FuelEU Maritime Regulation introduces a voluntary pooling mechanism. If shipping companies choose to use the pooling mechanism, they may effectively use the over-performance of one ship to compensate for the under-performance of another ship. This could present new commercial opportunities for shipping companies.


WR ESG Alert: New climate lawsuit against the Norwegian government and expansion of the EU Emissions Trading System

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight that shipping activities have been incorporated into the EU Emissions Trading System, and that provisional agreement has been reached at EU level with respect to the Critical Raw Materials Act, the EU Nature Restoration Law and an EU Regulation to reduce energy sector methane emissions. We also report on the latest climate lawsuit against the Norwegian government.


Clarification on responsible entity under EU ETS (the "shipping company")

The inclusion of the shipping industry in the EU Emission Trading System as per Directive 2003/87/EC ("the EU ETS") from 1 January 2024 is now fast approaching. According to Article 3 in the said directive, it is the "shipping company" that is responsible for compliance with the EU ETS-obligations, hereunder to surrender emission allowances.


WR ESG Alert

We are pleased to announce the launch of our monthly ESG alert service, where we will provide updates on key developments on topics of relevance under the ESG umbrella. The WR ESG alerts intend to offer a focused perspective on environmental and social issues, emphasising material developments and their implications. However, this may not encompass all aspects of the broader ESG spectrum and will generally not cover governance-related updates.


Important changes to the procurement regulations – tightening requirements to consider climate and environmental concerns

The changes in the procurement regulations, rooted in the Hurdal Platform's ambitions for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business sector, will have significant implications for both suppliers and contracting authorities. The clear message is that sustainability and innovation will become even more central competitive factors, while the burden on contracting authorities to ensure climate-friendly solutions in the design and implementation of their procurements will increase.


Emission allowances trading

The European carbon market has grown substantially since its start in 2005. With the extension of the EU ETS to include the shipping sector, and an annual reduction of more than 4% of the overall number of emission allowances in the market, the price is expected to rise. This means an increased need and interest amongst stakeholders to understand how trading with emission allowances is regulated.


EU Emissions Trading System applies for shipping as from 1 January 2024

The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has been reformed to include maritime emissions as from 1 January 2024.


Wikborg Rein on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl

This week, during One Ocean Week, the main focus has been on sustainable use of the ocean and many people have travelled to Bergen to attend important conferences.


Paving the way after the Energy Commission's report

The Energy Commission has asked for extraordinary measures to reach our climate targets and to ensure that ample access to renewable power still will constitute a competitive advantage for Norwegian industry. How Norway will achieve massive development of renewable energy in order to realise both emissions cut and new green industry, was the topic when we invited to a seminar at the National Museum.


One Ocean Week in Bergen

On 15 April Statsraad Lehmkuhl finally returned to its hometown Bergen.


Launch of offshore wind tenders for Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord

On the 29 March 2023, the Norwegian Government announced the opening of Norway's first offshore wind tenders in the areas Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord.


Has the forum shop opened for business?

Here we consider a high profile procedural decision of the English Court of Appeal, which included commentary on the common law doctrine of forum non conveniens: Municipio de Mariana v (1) BHP Group (UK) LTD (2) BHP Group Ltd.


The International Women's Day 2023: – We need to get rid of gender stereotypes

In connection with the International Women’s Day, we have had a chat with our lawyers Hedvig Bugge Reiersen, Tonje Hagen Geiran, Xiaomin Qu and Camilla Perona Fjeldstad.


Contracts for Difference in Shipping: The Zero-Emissions Catalyst?

Although more typically associated with the renewables space, Contracts for Difference (CfDs) are increasingly being considered as a key part of the puzzle in achieving a zero-emissions future in the shipping sector.


BIMCO completes its suite of CII, EEXI and ETS time charter clauses

BIMCO has recently published three new clauses which seek to balance Owners’ and Charterers’ respective interests under time charters in relation to the obligations imposed by the CII, EEXI and EU ETS.


Four new partners from 2023

We are pleased to announce that Tine Elisabeth Vigmostad, Elise Johansen, Preben Milde Thorbjørnsen and Andreas K. Lund have been appointed partners in Wikborg Rein from 1. January 2023.


Norwegian Government Launches Tender Rules for Offshore Wind

On 6 December 2022 the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (the "Ministry") announced that it intends to open the offshore wind tenders for phase one of the Sørlige Nordsjø II area and for the Utsira Nord area in the first quarter of 2023, and published the proposed criteria and format for the tenders.


With One Ocean Expedition from Singapore to Jakarta: - An experience for life

The exotic trip on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl in the Southeast Asia will not be forgotten by Kamilla Hope Kleppenes and Ingrid Weltzien anytime soon. Read their travelogue and see the beautiful photos from their fantastic trip!


Ready for One Ocean Expedition

On Saturday 29 October, Kamilla Hope Kleppenes and Ingrid Weltzien set sail towards Singapore, where they'll embark on Statsraad Lehmkuhl and learn more about the ocean's important role for a sustainable future.


Summary of the New US Climate Bill

After months of wrangling and negotiations, US Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the "IRA") last month. The bill contains ground-breaking climate change measures and is projected to lead to USD 370 billion in government investment in renewable energy and climate change programs in the next 10 years. These measures are likely to open significant business opportunities for companies operating in the renewable energy sector.


Green investments in ocean industries

The intersection between green investments and ocean industries continue to attract increased attention from investors, financiers and companies in search of new business opportunities.


The green transition and support in the operational phase

The maritime sector has for many years been actively developing new technology which aims to ensure that the green transition and the climate goals can be achieved. The sector is now close to being ready to take the next steps. However, unless some form of public support is introduced for the operational phase, the transition will likely take more time than some may wish for.


Legal challenges with cross border transportation of CO2

According to the report “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change”, published 4 April 2022, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is essential in order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and reach the climate goals. When establishing an international value chain for CCS, the industry will have to work within the international rules and framework. This article focuses on the restrictions on export of CO2 in the “London Dumping Regime”, especially the London Protocol.


Transition-linked financing: The transition to a greener shipping industry

A group of Nordic market participants have through the Green Shipping Programme produced a new set of Guidelines for Transition-Linked Financing (TLF) supporting the transition to net zero emissions in the shipping industry by 2050.


Key aspects of the new FuelEU Maritime proposal

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of proposals aimed at ensuring that the European Union achieves its goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The proposals include, among other things, the new FuelEU Maritime initiative, specifically aimed at the shipping industry.


The EU Taxonomy in the maritime transport industry

In the maritime sector, several measures are needed in order to reduce emissions to the extent necessary, and the EU Commission approach this challenge by presenting a basket of measures, one of them being the EU Taxonomy. By setting harmonised criteria for determining whether an economic activity qualifies as environmentally sustainable, it is intended to incentivise the greening of the sector.


The EU ETS and Shipping – updates and unanswered questions

Since the European Commission on 14 July 2021 proposed to extend the scope of its Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to include emissions from shipping, several stakeholders have evaluated, commented on and assessed the proposal. This article examines some of the most debated and uncertain aspects.


Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive: extensive due diligence requirements

On 23 February 2022, the European Commission adopted its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (the "CSDD Directive"). The proposal has been called a game-changer in the way companies operate their business activities throughout the global value chain, and sets out extensive sustainability due diligence requirements as well as introducing new corporate governance obligations for in-scope companies.


Key aspects of FuelEU Maritime proposal

On 14 June 2021, the European Commission presented a package of proposals aimed at ensuring that the European Union achieves its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The proposals include, amongst other things, the new FuelEU Maritime initiative, specifically aimed at the shipping industry.


The EU ETS expands to shipping

One of the most talked about and controversial aspects of the EU’s proposed “Fit for 55” package is the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). This article examines the proposal and details its potential impact on the shipping industry.


Decarbonisation in shipping – the EU proposals

On 14 July 2021 the European Commission published its “Fit for 55” package setting out various legislative proposals to enable the EU to reach its objective to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 (as compared to 1990 levels).


The right to claim deprivation interest in pollution incidents in Norway

Norwegian authorities normally respond to an oil spill or other type of pollution along the Norwegian coast by initiating a state-led operation, often involving significant costs. A recent amendment to the Norwegian Pollution Act has created a statutory legal basis for the authorities, when claiming reimbursement from the owners, to include a claim for so-called deprivation interest as from the time the relevant costs were incurred.


State aid for hydrogen

A revised State aid framework should help boost the demand and supply of hydrogen in Europe. The European Commission set out this promise in the EU’s hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe, adopted in July last year. Has the Commission delivered on its promises?


Marine spatial conflicts: Offshore wind – Increased pressure on Norway’s marine areas

Norway’s large sea areas remain one of the country’s most important advantages in the global transition to a greener and more sustainable society. Solving the global climate challenges includes investments in measures such as ocean-based transport, restoration of marine ecosystems, seafood, storage of carbon in the ocean floor and ocean-based renewable energy. While these activities can help reduce the carbon footprint, they may also lead to increased activity in the sea areas already used for other types of (traditional) marine activities.


From East Anglia to East Asia: A commercial perspective on the development of offshore wind in Taiwan and further afield

Alex Hookway, a Senior Lawyer in Wikborg Rein's Renewables Team, sat down with Sam Stout, Managing Director of Colebrook Offshore1 in London. They discussed the current status of offshore wind in the Asia-Pacific, the (sometimes painful) lessons learned from the early wind farms in Taiwan and further afield, and what's next for wind energy in the region.


Post-Trump: The Winds of Change Opportunities for offshore wind farm installation vessels in the US

Despite the USA having what has been described as a “globally significant wind resource”, the development of the offshore wind industry in the United States has had something of a slow start, with only 5 electricity generating turbines currently in operation in US offshore waters with generating capacity of only around 30 MW.


Coming of age, what to do with mature wind farms? extend, repower or decommission?

At a time when many nations are expecting an explosion of new leasing rounds to meet the gap left by the phasing out of fossil fuels (and in some jurisdictions, nuclear power), it might seem odd to consider the ‘end of life’ options for wind farms – whether lifetime extension, repowering or decommissioning. However, wind turbines have an operational lifetime of 20-25 years. For the original offshore developments in the North Sea, this may be shorter as technology, fabrication and construction knowledge has developed rapidly over the past 20 years.