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Energy & Climate Change

With more than 450 energy and climate change lawyers, including over 100 partners, the CMS Energy and Climate Change practice is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Led from its centres of excellence such as London and Aberdeen, the practice works across 75 offices globally. Our early work in designing and implementing modern energy markets and subsequently guiding the sector in the push to decarbonisation means CMS is not only a transactional or project adviser to the sector, but uniquely placed to help shape its present and future.

A key driver of the global economy, the energy and climate change sector is affected by geopolitical, economic and regulatory pressures. You require advisors who understand your industry and work with leaders of energy companies, regulators, governments, industry bodies and investors on the cutting edge of commercial, regulatory and risk issues in the sector. Based across 15 jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe, we have been active in CEE since the beginning of the privatisation and liberalisation of the energy and climate change sector across the region. We have helped to shape the sector by advising on the most high-profile and ground-breaking projects and transactions over many years.

Our dedicated energy and climate change lawyers work in every part of the sector, including upstream and downstream oil & gas, electricity, nuclear and renewables. Whether you are a NOC, IOC, independent, electricity company, investor, government or financial institution, we have the energy and climate change specialists to meet all your strategic challenges globally. Our multi-disciplinary teams were among the first to advise on ground-breaking global oil and gas M&A and on power projects in Europe, to establish a single electricity market in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, lead historic electricity industry reform in Mexico, and work on renewable energy projects globally.

Our team has acquired expertise and knowledge on a wide range of energy projects in Slovakia and can provide you with extensive advice on all aspects of the energy project you are involved in, whether it be related to renewable energy, traditional energy production or nuclear power. We support our clients in regulatory issues, in acquiring licenses and in gaining permissions for the planning, construction and operation of power plants. You can also rely on the experience of the experts at our Bratislava office in matters regarding communication with regulatory bodies, other bodies in Slovakia or international organisations.

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Our comprehensive expertise in the area of renewable energies is founded on decades of experience, which we have gained through our active involvement


Emer­ging Europe M&A Re­port 2022/2023
The year 2022 star­ted with vari­ous chal­lenges, in­clud­ing rising in­fla­tion and en­ergy prices. Then the Rus­si­an in­va­sion of Ukraine ad­ded yet an­oth­er one. Non­ethe­less, the M&A mar­ket in emer­ging European coun­tries proved to be ex­tremely re­si­li­ent. The re­gion saw M&A activ­ity main­tain a steady pace, though deal val­ues were not­ably lower. Also, vari­ations could be ob­served across ter­rit­or­ies and sec­tors. While 2022 brought a unique set of chal­lenges, deal­mak­ing largely com­pared fa­vour­ably to pre-pan­dem­ic levels.Wel­come to the 2022/23 edi­tion of the Emer­ging Europe re­port.
En­ergy Sav­ings Guide
This CMS Guide is de­signed to shine a light on the wide vari­ety of en­ergy sav­ing laws in se­lec­ted CEE coun­tries by ex­plain­ing the most im­port­ant leg­al meas­ures and help­ing you to dis­cov­er where your op­por­tun­it­ies might lie. Polit­ic­al and leg­al frame­work En­ergy trans­form­a­tion re­quires build­ing up new en­ergy sources and that takes time. Sav­ing en­ergy, how­ever, is the quick­est and cheapest way to ad­dress the cur­rent en­ergy crisis, which is mainly caused by Rus­sia’s in­va­sion of Ukraine. Re­du­cing en­ergy con­sump­tion cuts house­holds’ and com­pan­ies’ high en­ergy bills.Build­ing on the “Fit for 55” pack­age of pro­pos­als and com­plet­ing the ac­tions on en­ergy se­cur­ity of sup­ply and stor­age, the European Com­mis­sion’s RE­PowerEU plan put for­ward a set of five ac­tions, the first of which is en­ergy sav­ing. Uni­on law sets forth man­dat­ory sav­ing goals for Mem­ber States but leaves them plenty of lee­way to choose between a vari­ety of meas­ures. Ap­plic­ant coun­tries and many oth­ers have passed en­ergy sav­ings laws and tar­gets too – of­fer­ing ad­di­tion­al flex­ib­il­ity.As a frame­work, the Fit for 55 pack­age and the European Cli­mate Law (REG 2021/1119) sets out a bind­ing, ir­re­vers­ible re­duc­tion of an­thro­po­gen­ic emis­sions. By 2030, 55% of the net GHG (green­house gas) emis­sions com­pared to 1990 must be saved. By 2050, the man­dat­ory net zero emis­sion goal must be achieved.Reg­u­la­tion 2022/1032 re­quires that mem­ber states fill their gas stor­age fa­cil­it­ies to at least 80-90% or that they store at least 35% of their av­er­age an­nu­al con­sump­tion in European stor­age fa­cil­it­ies. Re­du­cing con­sump­tion over the years re­duces the filling ob­lig­a­tion.Since Au­gust 2022, ob­lig­at­ory re­duc­tions in gas con­sump­tion ap­ply to EU mem­ber states (Reg­u­la­tion 2022/1032). The core in­nov­a­tion of this re­gime is the Uni­on alarm that can be triggered by the European Coun­cil if there is a ma­ter­i­al risk of grave gas sup­ply short­ages, ex­traordin­ary gas de­mand or a na­tion­al alarm pur­su­ant to Dir­ect­ive 2017/1938 in at least five Mem­ber States. Once a Uni­on alarm has been triggered and for as long as it re­mains in force, mem­ber states must re­duce their gas con­sump­tion by 15%. There is a par­tial ex­cep­tion if this would oth­er­wise cause an elec­tri­city crisis in the re­spect­ive mem­ber state. However, the steer­ing meas­ures to be taken and wheth­er cer­tain groups of gas con­sumers are gran­ted more fa­vour­able con­di­tions re­main at the mem­ber state’s dis­cre­tion. Re­gard­ing elec­tri­city, Reg­u­la­tion 2022/1854 on an emer­gency in­ter­ven­tion to ad­dress high en­ergy prices aims to re­duce elec­tri­city con­sump­tion by 10% and ease the pres­sure on elec­tri­city prices through rev­en­ue caps. Again, Mem­ber States are free to choose the ap­pro­pri­ate meas­ures to re­duce gross elec­tri­city con­sump­tion and meet the 10% tar­get.Ad­di­tion­al rules ap­ply to the fuel con­sump­tion of trucks or the en­ergy con­sump­tion of dis­trict heat­ing/cool­ing. The CMS Guide The res­ult of these reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing en­ergy sav­ing has been the in­tro­duc­tion of a wide vari­ety of en­ergy sav­ing laws in in­di­vidu­al states; and many more meas­ures are still to come. This CMS Guide is de­signed to shine a light on these reg­u­la­tions by ex­plain­ing the most im­port­ant leg­al meas­ures and help­ing you to dis­cov­er where your op­por­tun­it­ies might lie. For each jur­is­dic­tion, the guide is struc­tured in­to: (1) a coun­try over­view,  (2) na­tion­al re­lief meas­ures for high en­ergy prices,  (3) na­tion­al/re­gion­al/com­mun­al en­ergy sav­ings meas­ures, and  (4) en­ergy stor­age status and in­cent­ives.The fol­low­ing meas­ures have been chosen by the states rep­res­en­ted in this  guide:  sub­sidies to end-con­sumers (Aus­tria in gen­er­al for en­ergy prices; Croa­tia for gas con­sump­tion), price caps: elec­tri­city (Croa­tia for house­holds, un­der­tak­ings and cer­tain­pub­lic con­sumers; Ukraine for house­holds),re­duced VAT rate (Croa­tia, North Mace­do­nia), tax in­cent­ives to privately store gas (Ukraine); ex­emp­tion from steer­ing meas­ures for privately stor­ing gas (Aus­tria),sub­sidies to com­pensate for high en­ergy prices (Bul­garia and Slov­akia, in Slov­e­nia for en­ter­prises, in Türki­ye for ag­ri­cul­ture) and en­ergy sav­ing meas­ures: (Croa­tia for SMEs); the real­loc­a­tion of EU funds to sup­port en­ergy con­sumers (Slov­akia); sub­sidies for en­ergy stor­age solu­tions (Aus­tria, Bul­garia and Ukraine) or for heat pro­du­cers (Ukraine),en­ergy ef­fi­ciency meas­ures in­cl. di­git­al­isa­tion (Bul­garia),re­duced hours of elec­tri­city or heat­ing sup­ply (North Mace­do­nia) or of gas sup­ply (Slov­akia),re­duc­tion of en­ergy con­sump­tion by the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion (Aus­tria, North Mace­do­nia, Slov­e­nia), an­dob­lig­a­tions on gas stor­age op­er­at­ors to feed gas in­to the grid (Aus­tria, Slov­akia) or to sup­ply heat pro­du­cers at pref­er­en­tial prices (Ukraine).re­wards for vol­un­tary re­duc­tion of gas and/or elec­tric en­ergy con­sump­tion (Slov­e­nia)educed per­mit­ting re­quire­ments for PV and wind plants (Türki­ye).
Com­mis­sion pro­poses land­mark new rules on li­ab­il­ity for AI sys­tems
On 28 Septem­ber 2022, the European Com­mis­sion pro­posed the draft AI Li­ab­il­ity Dir­ect­ive (AILD Draft) on ad­apt­ing non-con­trac­tu­al civil li­ab­il­ity rules to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence as a po­ten­tial solu­tion...
European Com­mis­sion pro­poses emer­gency mar­ket in­ter­ven­tion to tackle high...
On 14 Septem­ber 2022, the European Com­mis­sion (“Com­mis­sion”) pub­lished a pro­pos­al for a Coun­cil Reg­u­la­tion on an emer­gency in­ter­ven­tion to ad­dress high en­ergy prices (“Pro­pos­al”). This emer­gency...
UPC Rules of Pro­ced­ure go in­to force with judg­ments to be made pub­lic
The entry in­to force of the Rules of Pro­ced­ure is part of the fi­nal pre­par­a­tions for the United Pat­ent Court (UPC), which is cur­rently ex­pec­ted to start work in early 2023. After the bod­ies of the UPC...
En­ergy – pun­it­ive in­terest where there is “Sig­ni­fic­ant Con­nec­tion with...
Sum­mary The Late Pay­ment of Com­mer­cial Debts (In­terest) Act 1998 im­plies a term in Eng­lish law con­tracts for the sup­ply of goods and/or ser­vices in the event of late pay­ment by the pur­chaser.  This ‘stat­utory...
Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and Re­act­ive Leg­al Lim­it­a­tions Per­vade the...
On 24 June 2022, the 53 Con­tract­ing Parties of the En­ergy Charter Treaty (ECT), a key mul­ti­lat­er­al treaty pro­tect­ing cross-bor­der en­ergy in­vest­ments that was ori­gin­ally con­cluded in 1991, reached a tent­at­ive...
Reg­u­la­tion on for­eign sub­sidies is head­ing for the fin­ish line - European...
Since 5 May 2022, EU tri­logue ne­go­ti­ations have been un­der­way on the first Reg­u­la­tion to lim­it the ef­fect of sub­sidies from third coun­tries to com­pan­ies act­ive in the EU. That an agree­ment will be reached...
CMS Next
What’s next? In a world of ever-ac­cel­er­at­ing change, stay­ing ahead of the curve and know­ing what’s next for your busi­ness or sec­tor is es­sen­tial.At CMS, we see ourselves not only as your leg­al ad­visers but also as your busi­ness part­ners. We work to­geth­er with you to not only re­solve cur­rent is­sues but to an­ti­cip­ate fu­ture chal­lenges and in­nov­ate to meet them.With our latest pub­lic­a­tion, CMS Next, our ex­perts will reg­u­larly of­fer you in­sights in­to and fresh per­spect­ives on a range of is­sues that busi­nesses have to deal with – from ESG agen­das to re­struc­tur­ing after the pan­dem­ic or fa­cing the di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. We will also share with you more about the work that we are do­ing for our cli­ents, help­ing them in­nov­ate, grow and mit­ig­ate risk.To be able to provide you with the best sup­port, we im­merse ourselves in your world to un­der­stand your leg­al needs and chal­lenges. However, it is equally im­port­ant that you know who we are and how we can work with you. So, we in­vite you to meet our ex­perts and catch a glimpse of what is hap­pen­ing in­side CMS.En­joy read­ing this pub­lic­a­tion, which we will up­date reg­u­larly with new con­tent.CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
Schrems II: Re­ac­tions to the judge­ment and the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies'...
“Schrems II”: Opin­ions of the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies on Schrems II and re­com­mend­a­tions on the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the judge­ment in in­ter­na­tion­al data trans­fers On 16 Ju­ly 2020, the Court of Justice...
Amended IC­SID Rules to enter in­to force on 1 Ju­ly 2022
On 21 March 2022, the Mem­ber States of the In­ter­na­tion­al Centre for Set­tle­ment of In­vest­ment Dis­putes (IC­SID) ad­op­ted a com­pre­hens­ive set of amend­ments to IC­SID ar­bit­ra­tion and con­cili­ation rules (“IC­SID...
En­ergy: Con­sequences of not ex­er­cising an op­tion
In Thurcroft Power Lim­ited v. Volta En­ergy Group Lim­ited [2022] EWHC 338 (Comm), the Com­mer­cial Court de­cided that an op­tion agree­ment con­cern­ing the early stages of a bat­tery stor­age de­vel­op­ment did...