France

Friends of the Earth et al. v. Prefect of of Bouches-du-Rhône and Total

Jurisdiction: Administrative Court of Marseille


Principle law(s): 2020 Climate and Energy Package (contains Directive 2009/29/EC, Directive 2009/28/EC, Directive 2009/31/EC and Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the Parliament and the Council ; see below)


Side A: Friends of the Earth (Ngo)


Side B: Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhone (Government)


Side C: Total (Corporation)


Core objectives:

Whether a permit to operate a biorefinery must take into account climate impacts of palm oil production and use.


Summary
On April 1, 2021, the Administrative Court of Marseille partially invalidated Total's permit to operate a biorefinery in France and directed the company to study the climate impacts of imported palm oil. NGO plaintiffs alleged that the Prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône, in authorising the continued operation of the refinery, failed to take into account the climate and other environmental impacts of palm oil production and use. The Court agreed that the decision authorising the operation of the plant relied on insufficient information on climate impacts, and ordered a new study on the cumulative direct and indirect climate effects of the biorefinery project.
Case documents

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