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A Case for an International Legal Regime on Renewable Energy. Peter Kayode Oniemola RLRG Seminar, School of Law University of Aberdeen 22 June 2011. Outline. Introduction The Push towards Renewable Energy - Energy Security - Climate Change and other environmental concerns

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a case for an international legal regime on renewable energy

A Case for an International Legal Regime on Renewable Energy

Peter Kayode Oniemola

RLRG Seminar, School of Law University of Aberdeen

22 June 2011

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • The Push towards Renewable Energy

-Energy Security

-Climate Change and other environmental concerns

  • International Regimes Relevant to Renewable Energy

-Soft Laws

-Treaties

  • Post-2012 Climate Change Negotiations
  • Statute of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
  • The Emergence of a Treaty on Renewable Energy
  • Conclusion
introduction
Introduction
  • Renewable energy has the potential of contributing to energy security and climate change mitigation.
  • International environmental law instruments give credence to the promotion of Renewable Energy for climate change mitigation.
  • Existing international law instruments relevant to renewable energy are inadequate.
  • A need for a multilateral treaty on the promotion of renewable energy is important.
push towards renewable energy
Push Towards Renewable Energy
  • Energy Security
  • Climate change and other environmental concerns
soft laws
Soft Laws
  • Clearly articulated in Soft laws are steps to promote renewable energy:

-Rio Declaration

-Agenda 21

-Johannesburg Plan of Implementation

-The Group of Eight (G8) Gleneagles 2005 Plan of Action

-Beijing Declaration on Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development.

  • The documents call for measures promoting renewable energy and transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
  • Soft laws are not binding in international law.
treaties
Treaties
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982

-Recognition of the sovereign rights of nation states to the economic exploitation and exploration of natural resources within their exclusive territorial and economic zones.

-The rights include the production of energy from renewable energy sources wind and ocean; and the right to construct turbines, subject to the obligation to respect the rights of other states and the safe removal of installations when abandoned.

- A need for a caveat in decommissioning in relation to renewable energy technology installations.

united nations framework convention on climate change unfccc
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Ultimate objective: Climate change mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Enjoins State Parties to take measures to mitigate climate change.
  • Transfer of environmentally sound technology.
  • Steps to promote renewable energy.
  • No clear provisions on the renewable energy.
kyoto protocol
Kyoto Protocol
  • Commits developed countries to binding mitigation targets.
  • Transfer of environmentally sound technologies
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects on renewable energy.
  • Joint Implementation projects on renewable energy
  • The CDM and JI have been characterised by implementation and distribution problems.
  • The design of the CDM and JI favour other mitigation measures/sectors.
post 2012 climate change negotiations
Post-2012 Climate Change Negotiations
  • The Bali Road-Map and the current negotiations for a post-2012 climate change regime are limited on matters bothering on renewable energy.
  • The Copenhagen Conference and Accord as well as the Conference at Cancun pay more attention to other mitigation measures.
  • Renewable energy lacks prominence in the ongoing negotiation process for a post-2012 climate change regime.
statute of international renewable energy agency
Statute of International Renewable Energy Agency
  • The first international treaty created to set up an agency specifically devoted on the promotion of renewable energy.
  • IRENA’s goal is to promote the widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.
  • IRENA lacks the capacity which States may possess in enhancing the promotion of renewable energy in their respective jurisdictions.
towards an emerging treaty
Towards an Emerging Treaty ...
  • The existing international regimes have not effectively addressed the promotion of renewable energy.
  • A treaty on renewable energy is paramount.
  • A need for the integration of existing rules.
  • The treaty provisions should bind parties by committing them to set targets and schemes on the promotion of renewable energy.
  • Removing barriers to renewable energy development, investment and trade.
  • Balancing the promotion of renewable energy with sustainable development.
conclusion
CONCLUSION

Considering the potential role of renewable energy, there is a need for the emergence of a multilateral treaty on the promotion of renewable energy

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THANK YOU

PETER ONIEMOLA