GREEN GUIDE EMEA 2023: Latvia
Baltic law firm FORT offers clients assistance in various stages of environmental, energy and infrastructure projects. Its Latvian team stands out for its work within the renewable energy sector.
Riga-based Sandis Bertaitis and senior associate Arturs Caics are representing Satini Energo LM, a company developing and managing a biomass CHP plant with a total capacity of 3.4 MW, in proceedings against The Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia and others regarding amendments to the regulation of the feed-in-tariff for CHP plants. If successful, the matter could provide positive contribution to the renewable energy sector in Latvia by preventing state institutions from implementing restrictions on support mechanisms for renewable energy projects.
The duo is also assisting SIA Rigas Energija with several legal matters. The client, a company focusing on renewable energy production, is developing and operating a CHP plant which uses woodchips to generate electricity and heat.
In Riga, the firm has also been actively cooperating with the green energy umbrella organisation Latvian Renewable Energy Federation (LREF), which unites non-governmental renewable energy associations, supporting LREF with its establishment as an NGO, as well as with several legislation and policy making proceedings concerning renewable energy production regulations.
Outside of their client work, Bertaitis and Caics regularly contribute to thought leadership in the renewable energy space with their publications and commentaries regarding case-law.
Besides implementing various internal environmental best practices, the firm also demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by organising a World Cleanup Day.
Leading pan-Baltic law firm Sorainen’s Latvian office is led by Eva Berlaus, who is also the ESG lead for the country and regularly lectures on the topics of sustainability, green investment, and corporate governance. At the Baltic-scale Novatore Impact Summit 2022, Berlaus conducted a workshop highlighting business benefits associated with ESG compliance and in May 2022 she took part in the Sustainability 2022 conference in Latvia, covering the topic of sustainability compliance at the supply chain and partner level. Also of note is Berlaus’ participation in the WWF’s public discussion on the role of the finance sector in the green transition.
Recent client work includes legal support for Tomra at all stages of the implementation of a packaging deposit system in Latvia. This was led by Raivo Raudzeps and is of significance because the reverse vending technology incentivises recycling. The team also provides pro bono assistance to SIA Aswell which aims to reduce food waste by providing a platform to connect users; this new type of business model required a unique partnership agreement.
Giving back is an important value at the firm; across its jurisdictions, colleagues are given annual leave to be used to contribute to any charitable cause of their choice. The firm also invests in meaningful environmental projects including the Let’s Do It Foundation, as well as many social impact organisations.
Multi-service firm TGS Baltic’s Latvian team frequently advises clients on renewable energy projects, particularly relating to wind power. The firm as a whole recently launched its ESG practice to provide dedicated ESG legal support to its clients.
In a recent highlight, head of energy Agnese Hartpenga and others led the advice to Latvenergo on the establishment of the joint venture Latvijas vēja parki together with Latvijas valsts meži. The purpose of the joint venture is the construction and management of wind parks with a capacity of up to 800 MW by 2030; through the planned installation of 100-120 wind turbines in the new wind farms, approximately 2.4 TWh of electricity would be produced per year, which is around 30% of the energy consumed in the country during 2021.
Hartpenga also recently assisted Wind Power Development with a range of legal matters regarding a wind power plant development; the capacity of the planned project is 150-300 MW.
Demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, the firm collaborates with Myliu Miska (I love forest) to neutralise CO2 emissions from its events. Additionally, it received an ISO 14001 certification, meeting internationally agreed environmental management system standards. The team has also published a number of articles around green energy and sustainability, such as a recent piece on greenwashing.