Environmental Law SIG Discussed Environmental Sustainability and ‘The European Green Deal’ at Online Conference


The Online Conference on “Environmental Sustainability and ‘The European Green Deal’: Values, Innovation and Regulation” was held on 12 and 13 November. Over the course of these two days, an audience of over 100 participants and fourteen presenters from Europe, America, and Africa shared their thoughts and developed new ideas on the topic.

As a response to Climate and environmental-related challenges, on 11 December 2019 the EU Commission released ‘The European Green Deal’, representing an integral part of the EU Commission’s strategy to implement the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals. It is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use, improving the quality of life of current and future generations.

Against such background, the Conference aimed to critically assess and rethink in an interdisciplinary policy-oriented perspective: values and current policies for environmental sustainability; rights on waste and regulation for a circular economy; legal instruments for enhancing environmental sustainability, both from a public and private law perspective.

Multiple panels provided valuable input and insights into these areas and allowed for a proper assessment. After welcome addresses by Laura Ramaciotti, Dean of the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Ferrara, and Christiane Wendehorst, President of the ELI, the first panel focused on ‘Policies for a Sustainable Environment: The Global Challenge’. The second panel dealt with ‘New Challenges for Sustainable Environment: An Economic Perspective’ while the third and fourth panel provided an in-depth analysis of ‘Legal Instruments for Enhancing Environmental Sustainability’. Each session was followed by a lively discussion.

After the fourth session, the Launch Event of the ELI Environmental Law Special Interest Group (SIG) took place.

In general, the Environmental Law SIG aims at bringing together experts from Europe and beyond, reshaping existing and creating new legal instruments in order to achieve environmental sustainability and a circular economy. This would make Europe a standard setter in this field.

To achieve these goals, the SIG aims to implement new strategies for regulation and standardisation and to improve dialogue with social partners and international cooperation.

In particular, the participants in the meeting decided to focus their research on the following subjects. The catalogue of research topics is open and further proposals are welcome.

         I.            Access to Justice and Climate change litigation

       II.            Green Claims

     III.            Tax law aspects of sustainable development

    IV.            Sustainability in Banking and Financial System

      V.            Nudging and other behavioural-based policies as enablers for environmental sustainability

    VI.            Sustainable Corporate Governance and Sustainable Supply Chains

Please click here to watch the Online Conference part one and here to watch part two.