Dealing with new or changing climate legislation is a significant challenge for all sorts of businesses. Whether you have questions about liability issues, funding, competition cases, new business models or other aspects of sustainable development, dealing with the impact of new national and international environmental laws requires extensive knowledge and expertise. Whatever your sector, we have the specialists to interpret those laws, reduce risks and explore opportunities. Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Climate Risk & Sustainability experts.
The Netherlands is a front-runner in climate change civil litigation. Companies should be aware that there have been important developments in this field that are globally relevant. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a popular jurisdiction for environmental NGOs to initiate climate change actions. The Netherlands plans to enact stricter and more enforceable regulatory obligations related to climate change.
Governments and companies are increasingly committed to climate change initiatives. The Paris Agreement, as well as national climate change legislation and policies, aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the costs of renewable energy generation continue to fall spectacularly, driven by technological advances, economies of scale, competitive supply chains and growing developer experience.
Our Environment & Planning Team specialises in climate-related matters. We distinguish between climate mitigation (reducing and preventing CO2 emissions), which includes the transition to renewable energy and energy conservation, and climate adaptation (adjusting the environment to the consequences of climate change). We work closely with our other experts in the climate legislation field.
The regulatory framework for climate change shifts and expands simultaneously. Newly imposed regulations affect the expectations and demands of all company stakeholders. It is not just new regulations that create new demands and high expectations. Stakeholders switch their focus from mainly financial targets to business models and other targets that include and focus on elements related to climate change.
In November 2021, we organised the Climate Risk & Sustainability weeks. Our Climate Risk & Sustainability experts hosted webinars and in-person events on different topics regarding the impact of new or changing climate legislation. We offered a full programme discussing climate change litigation, effective permitting, SFDR, ESG due diligence and more. The webinars are on demand available.
It is imperative to understand how relevant climate change laws apply within organisations and the way they do business. The Lex Mundi Global Climate Change Guide provides information concerning relevant policies, measures and legislation related to climate change regimes in more than 30 jurisdictions around the world. For the guide, Houthoff provided a chapter on policies, measures and legislation related to climate change in the Netherlands.
Tax often plays an important role when it comes to climate change and climate-related projects and activities. There are specific Dutch taxes relating to climate change (e.g. CO2 levy, waste tax, coal tax and energy taxes). The Dutch government, as stated in the Climate Agreement, actively uses taxation as an instrument to reward sustainable behaviour and discourage unsustainable behaviour.
Marloes Brans (Houthoff) on Green Recovery (only available in Dutch)
Annemarie Manger (Tata Steel) on the importance of steel in the energy transition (only available in Dutch)
We focus on helping our clients achieve their environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) objectives. We assist our clients with the funding of projects and businesses needed to create a long-term sustainable economy and in navigating ESG financial regulation, including rules aimed at the financial stability of financial institutions and the impact of ESG risks.
Government and private entities are increasingly seeking to protect our country’s overall health, natural environment and quality of life through strategies such as smart growth, new urbanism, and green and smart building. Our Real Estate team increasingly assists clients with legal issues relating to developing sustainable real estate projects.
Our EU & Competition law specialists have extensive knowledge and practical experience at the intersection of competition law and climate change. This area develops rapidly – both at national and EU level. In practice, climate change may play a role in competition law compliance, as defence in cartel investigations or in merger notifications.
Our top tier Investment Management Team regularly advises fund managers, investment firms, investment institutions, pension funds and other institutional investors in the field of sustainable business, climate change and ESG investing. The team advises on matters such as the European Commission sustainability initiatives and how to comply with these.
Last updated May 2022