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Center for Climate Change, Energy, and Environmental Law

Celebrating a Decade of Excellence

10th Anniversary Academic Seminar

Date: 17 November 2023 Time: 10:30-17:00 Venue: Hotel Kämp, Pohjoisesplanadi, 29 Helsinki, 00100 Finland and online

Please note that in-person attendance is by invitation only and you are able to follow the whole event on Zoom. Register here to join us online!

At the event, we will reflect on a decade of progress and set our sights on a future committed to addressing pressing issues in climate change, energy, and environmental law.

Here is our detailed programme:

Opening Remarks

10:30-11                    OPENING SPEECHES 

Prof. Tapio Määttä, Academic Rector, University of Eastern Finland 

Dr Tuomas Pöysti, Chancellor of Justice

A brief introduction to CCEEL and its research groups by CCEEL Co-Directors Prof. Kati Kulovesi, Prof. Niko Soininen and Prof. Kim Talus

Chair: Prof. Antti Belinskij, CCEEL and Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

Keynote Address 

11-12:15                    KEYNOTE SPEECHES on synergies and contradictions between the climate, energy and sustainability transitions

Prof. Sebastian Oberthür, CCEEL and Vrije Universiteit Brussels – A European perspectives on the climate transition

Prof. Leigh Hancher, European University Institute – A perspective on the energy transition

Prof. Chris Backes, Utrecht University – An EU biodiversity and environmental law perspective to the climate and energy transition

12:15-13:30  Lunch

13:30-14:35  Panel Discussion: Climate Change Litigation: International, European and National Law Perspectives

Climate litigation against governments and companies is expanding rapidly all over the world. Climate advisory opinions have been requested from the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. This session, relating to the 4iTraction Horizon 2020 project, will discuss climate change litigation from various perspectives.  

  • Jacques Hartmann, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Dundee – Climate change advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice  
  • Annalisa Savaresi, Associate Professor, CCEEL, UEF Law School and Professor, University of Stirling – Climate litigation before the European Court of Human Rights
  • Kati Kulovesi, Professor of International Law and Co-Director of CCEEL, UEF Law School – Climate litigation in Finland  
  • Anna-Maria Tamminen, Partner, Hannes Snellman – Climate litigation from a law firm perspective  
  • Ivano Alogna, Research Leader in Environmental and Climate Change Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law  – Climate litigation against private companies  

14:35-14:50  Coffee 

14:50-15:55  Panel Discussion: Energy Disputes: Current and Future Disputes in the Energy Sector

The energy sector is prone to disputes, and Russia’s war in Ukraine has created a wave of disputes involving Russia and Russian entities with knock on effects for future energy disputes. The need to rapidly develop alternative sources of energy to replace Russian hydrocarbons is also generating disputes related to energy equipment and services, an often overlooked area. And, until new energy sources are fully brought on line, the war in Russia will continue to have an impact on energy prices and in Finland, which in turn is generating its own set of disputes. This session will provide insights into how the energy sector is responding to these disputes while keeping the energy flowing and lights turned on. 

Chair: Prof. Leigh Hancher, European University Institute

  • Sergii Melnyk, Deputy Counsel, International Court of Arbitration, ICC – Current trends and developments in energy disputes
  • Michael Mcilwrath, Partner, MDisputes and Chair, Governing Body for Dispute Resolution Services, International Chamber for Commerce – The overlooked area of energy disputes: equipment and services arbitrations  
  • Kim Talus, Professor of Energy Law and Co-Director of CCEEL, UEF Law School – Disputes in retail electricity pricing in Finland  

16:00-17:00  Panel Discussion: Biodiversity and Environmental Quality in the Energy Transition 

Climate change mitigation requires decisive action in the energy sector, and across all sectors of society. In tandem, there is an equally pressing need to mitigate biodiversity loss and degradation of environmental quality despite decades of governmental and private efforts to these ends. A key societal challenge is that climate change mitigation requires space (e.g., wind and solar power and other industrial investments, such as mines) for development and comes with negative impacts on biodiversity and environmental quality. As our current biodiversity and environmental quality challenges are about the overuse of space – and even at present levels the current use of space is unsustainable – there is an immanent risk that the climate change mitigation efforts will translate into increasing biodiversity loss and decreasing environmental quality unless carefully governed. How can environmental law help navigate this tension? 

  • Johanna Korpi, Ministry of the Environment of Finland – Ministry perspectives to navigating the trade-offs of climate change mitigation and biodiversity
  • Jaakko Autio, Supreme Administrative Court of Finland  – Court perspective to navigating the trade-offs of climate change mitigation and biodiversity
  • Niko Soininen, Professor of Environmental Law and Co-Director of CCEEL, UEF Law School – Finnish Perspective to regulating energy transitions: Have we learned anything in 100 years after the hydropower boom?
  • Antti Belinskij, Professor of Environmental Law, CCEEL, UEF Law School and Research Professor, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE – Green Deal – a deal for green?

17:00-18:00  COCKTAILS 

You can register here!

For inquiries, kindly contact Raihanatul Jannat at

The 4iTraction project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003884.


CCEEL was established in 2013 at the Law School of the University of Eastern Finland. Ten years later, CCEEL is a vibrant academic community of 6 full-time and 5 part-time professors, 9 senior researchers, 9 postdoctoral researchers, 56 PhD researchers and 8 junor staff/research assistants. The current Co-Directors of CCEEL are Prof. Kati Kulovesi, Prof. Niko Soininen and Prof. Kim Talus and the CCEEL coordinator is Raihanatul Jannat.  

CCEEL is home to four research groups on Climate Change Law, Energy Law, Environmental Law and Sustainability Law. All groups collaborate actively with domestic and international partners, including through multidisciplinary research.  

CCEEL’s currently ongoing research projects have attracted over € 10 million of external funding, mainly from the Finnish Research Council, Finnish Strategic Research Council as well as the European Union Horizon programme.  CCEEL is also part of the Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center, lead by the University of Helsinki under the Finnish Research Flagships programme.  

CCEEL has been coordinating the international Master’s Degree Programme on Environmental Law and Policy since 2013 and participating in the Nordic Master’s Programme in Environmental Law taught jointly with the Universities of Uppsala (Sweden) and Tromso (Norway) since 2019. 

CCEEL members are actively engaged in ensuring the social impacts of their research in Finland and abroad. They collaborating with and consulting international, EU and national authorities. The UEF/CCEEL and the UN Environment Programme have also co-organized, since 2004, a ten-day course teaching international environmental law-making and diplomacy skills to civil servants from all over the world with funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment. 

CCEEL members have served, inter alia, in the Finnish Climate Change Panel, the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development and as expert members of the Market Court. They also provide legal advice, including concerning energy projects and disputes involving EU law. Some CCEEL members also gave pro bono legal advice to environmental NGOs in the Finnish Climate Case of 2023. 

CCEEL members are also active in the Finnish Society for Environmental Law bringing together some 500 Finnish environmental law experts from the public and private sectors and the civil society.