ClientEarth v. European Investment Bank
Jurisdiction: General Court
Side A: ClientEarth (Ngo)
Side B: European Investment Bank (Government)
Core objectives: Whether finance decisions by the European Investment Bank may be subject to requests for internal review under the Aarhus Convention over their potential environmental harm.
SummaryOn January 8, 2019, environmental NGO ClientEearth filed suit in the EU General Court against the European Investment Bank (EIB), alleging that the bank had improperly rejected ClientEarth's petition for an internal review of the Bank's decision to finance a biomass power plant. ClientEarth argued that in rejecting its petition for internal review, the EIB misapplied the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.
On April 2, 2021, the EIB appealed the decision with the European Court of Justice. The EIB alleges that the General Court, under the Aarhus Convention, misconstrued the notion of an ‘administrative act’, that the EIB decision to approve the loan does not have ‘legally binding and external effect’, and that the General Court was wrong when it classified the EIB’s decision as ‘adopted under environmental law’. The case is now pending before the Court of Justice.