Nota Bene Episode 63: Enforcement of Climate Change Regulations in the European Union with Dr. Michael Hofmann


The European Union (EU) is taking major strides to help combat climate change by instituting a ban on diesel cars, enforcing existing climate regulations among member states, and announcing the EU Green Deal initiative. Despite these efforts, the EU Commission still struggles to enforce any such policies among member states who fail to comply. We’re exploring several of the new climate policies being instituted and discussing how the EU is reacting to noncompliance. 

Joining us for this conversation is Dr. Michael Hofmann. Michael is an associate in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Brussels office. He focuses on all aspects of European and German competition law matters. Michael wrote his doctoral thesis in the area of energy competition law and holds a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in International Commercial Law from the University of Aberdeen (UK). He is fluent in English in addition to his native German.

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What We Discussed in This Episode:

  • What is happening in the area of climate regulation enforcement in the EU?
  • What is the basis for all of the litigation occurring at the EU level as it relates to climate regulation?
  • What is the EU Air Quality Directive and what are its key elements?
  • What is the process for EU litigation proceedings against member states for policy infringement?
  • How many open cases are currently pending with the EU commission?
  • Why were several EU member states unable to comply with the NO2 limitation requirements placed by the EU?
  • How has the EU placed restrictions against diesel cars?
  • What effect has the ban on diesel cars had on the Free State of Bavaria?
  • How is the EU Commission indirectly addressing the NO2 threshold against diesel car manufacturers via competition laws?
  • What is the European Union’s Green Deal and what are its objectives?
  • Why is the EU thinking of introducing a carbon border tax and how might that affect U.S. multinationals doing business in the EU?


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