Climate & Competition Law

Our EU & Competition law specialists have extensive knowledge and practical experience at the intersection of competition law and climate change. This area is rapidly developing – both at national and EU level. In practice, climate change may play a role in competition law compliance, as a defence in cartel investigations, or in merger notifications.

The EU & Competition Team recently advised various organisations on the competition law and regulatory aspects of implementing and enforcing sustainability and environmental certificate systems and labels and emission trading agreements in different sectors. Where relevant, the team includes climate change aspects in its regular competition compliance advice.

Recent developments

  • The Dutch Competition Authority is a key promoter of incorporating climate change elements into cartel assessments. It recently published draft guidelines on sustainability initiatives and the cartel prohibition .
  • At the EU level, the European Commission (DG Competition) is increasingly focusing on the climate change aspects of competition law. The Commission will publish a report with the results of its public consultation in this area before the summer of 2021.
  • Advised various private and public organisations and public-private partnerships on the State aid rules, the competition rules and regulatory requirements regarding initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in production processes, producing renewable energy and realising innovative applications and circular production methods. Moreover, the team was involved in various proceedings at national and EU level relating to measures introduced to realise climate objectives at local and national level.
  • Advised sponsors on the financing for several offshore and onshore windfarms in the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Advised Van Oord on green term loans to finance two new vessels using cleaner technologies.
  • Advised senior lenders on the financing of the first metal recycling company in the Netherlands using a blended finance structure with financial support under the Energy Transition Facility from the Dutch department of economic affairs.
  • Advised Renewi on its green bond financing.
  • Advised various pension funds on implementing the Dutch Pensions Funds Agreement (IMVB-convenant).
  • Advised fund managers, investment firms and institutional investors on complying with the requirements under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
  • Advised Climeworks AG on establishing a joint venture with SkyNRG B.V. to use CO2 captured from the air to produce sustainable aviation fuels, and related matters.
  • Advised fund managers, investment firms and institutional investors on implementing environmental, social and governance (ESG) related clauses in fund documentation, policy documents and fiduciary asset management agreements.
  • Advised Porthos as project counsel on acquiring a mining installation and related permits to store CO2 in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea, drafting related agreements and other matters. The Porthos Project is the largest CO2 reduction project in the Netherlands which aims to capture and store 37 million tonnes of CO2 in a 15-year period. Porthos is recognised by the European Union as a project of common interest.
Weyer VerLoren van Themaat

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 83
+31 6 5365 5833
Greetje van Heezik

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Counsel
+32 2 507 98 10
+32 4 7586 8593