Renewable Energy in the International Arena: Legal Aspects and Cooperation
AbstractThis article aims at investigating the relevant aspects of international law and cooperation in the field of renewable energy. Part I provides an overview of the multiple soft law developments within and outside the UN framework as well as an assessment of a chosen set of extant treaty obligations either fostering or potentially constraining the development of the renewable energy sector. In light of these norms, Part II analyses a series of recent cases and international disputes triggered by non-environmental interests and rights allegedly impaired by the implementation of certain renewable energy-related plans and projects. In particular, this section considers the compatibility of renewable energy development with extant norms in the areas of human rights (ECHR), procedural environmental rights (Aarhus Convention) and international trade law (WTO). Despite the scarcity of binding norms on renewable energy generation and the persistence of various factors leading to disputes, global cooperation in the field of renewable energy is gaining momentum. Starting with an overview on CDM renewable energy projects under the Kyoto Protocol, Part III then shifts to the latest developments in renewable energy cooperation prompted respectively by the creation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and by the growing number of transnational private partnerships operating in the field of renewables.
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