New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Michael Faure and Marjan Peeters
Chapter 5: The Regulatory Approach of the EU in View of Liability for Climate Change Damage
Marjan Peeters 1. INTRODUCTION In the course of developing a European climate change policy package, a variety of regulatory approaches have been established by the EU legislature. These measures target directly and indirectly a wide range of different greenhouse gas emitting sources, and aim at an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 emission levels.1 If full compliance with the obligatory emission reduction measures is reached by the covered sources, they will by nature be contributing less to the overall problem of global warming and its possible forthcoming damage compared to actors in legal systems where less intensive or no obligatory emission reductions are provided and where industries and other sources fail to make substantial voluntary efforts. Within the given regulatory framework of the EU, it will however be the case that some actors face stricter regulatory obligations than others.2 In fact, there has already been a case before the European Court of Justice about the question of why one sector (the steel sector) was covered by the principal regulatory instrument known as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), but another competing sector (the aluminium sector) was not.3 The court allowed however in principle the gradual expansion of such a regulatory instrument, which means that not all the sources will be covered at the same time by the same regulatory approach, and that, hence, different regulatory approaches and obligations towards sources are possible. The sectors covered by stringent regulatory approaches will,...
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