European Union

Société Arcelor Atlantique et Lorraine v. Premier Minister (European Court of Justice, Grand Chamber, 2008)

Jurisdiction: European Union


Principle law(s): EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) (Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC)


Side A: soci̩t̩ arcelor atlantique et lorraine (Corporation)


Side B: Premier Minister (Government)


Core objectives:

Challenge to the directive under the principle of equality


Summary
The European Court of Justice upheld provisions of Directive 2003/87 implemented by French legislation, which applied the greenhouse gas trading scheme to installations in the steel sector. Arcelor, a worldwide steel enterprise, challenged the directive under the principle of equality. Arcelor argued that non-ferrous metals and plastics are both industries emitting greenhouse gases, yet they are not regulated by the Directive. The Court found the differences in treatment between the steel industry and the chemical and non-ferrous metal industries to be justified based on substantial differences among the industries, such as the number of installations and the levels of direct emissions.
Case documents

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