European Union

Industrie de bois de Vielsalm & Cie v. Region Wallone, European Court of Justice C-195/12

Jurisdiction: European Union


Side A: Industrie de bois de Vielsalm & Cie (Corporation)


Side B: R̩gion wallonne (Government)


Core objectives: Adequacy of Swiss government's climate change mitigation targets and implementation measures


Summary
European Union adopted Directive 2004/8/EC to promote high-efficiency cogeneration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Directive, Member States are to adopt certain support mechanisms to encourage cogeneration. In implementing the Directive, Walloon decided to exclude biomass from wood, because of the potentially negative environmental consequences. Industrie de bois de Vielsalm (IBV), which operates a cogeneration plant from sawmill waste, applied to the Walloon Government for green certificates under the support mechanism and was rejected. IBV challenged the refusal arguing that the exclusion of biomass from wood (1) was inconsistent with the Directive and (2) violated the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Constitutional Court of Belgium referred these issues to the EU Court of Justice. The Court of Justice found Walloon's interpretation of biomass was permissible under the Directive given its purpose. Furthermore, the Court found that while Member States were subject to the equal treatment and non-discrimination clauses of EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights in implementing the cogeneration support mechanism, the Walloon Government did not defy those clauses when it excluded wood and wood waste from its biomass support scheme.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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