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International Law and Sustainable Energy: A Portrait of Failure


David Hodas


Widener University - School of Law

December 2, 2011

Environmental Law And Sustainability After Rio, J Benedickson et al, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011)
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-21

Abstract:     
Despite energy’s critical role in achieving nearly sustainable development and in mitigating climate change goal, internationally, sustainable energy remains a homeless orphan. In May 2007, after years of preparatory work that was thought to have produced consensus on fundamental sustainable energy policies and principles, the Commission on Sustainable Development met at CSD-15 to adopt a concrete set of specific policies and actions to make the world’s energy system more sustainable and accessible to the world’s poor. Tragically, the CSD-15 not only failed to produce agreement on any new ideas, but the pre-existing consensus on basic principles dissolved. Internationally, not a single substantive issue left hanging after CSD 15 has been resolved in the CSD or other fora, As high-level meetings, such as the UNFCCC December 2009 Copenhagen Conference of the Parties, continue to avoid concrete discussion about how to shift to a more sustainable, low carbon world economy, international talks increasingly become disconnected from real-world policy, science and law. In the absence of international agreement, sustainable energy must be pursued through domestic laws that identify and implement policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: Climate Change, Sustainable Energy, Common but Differentiated Responsibilities

JEL Classification: K32

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Date posted: July 26, 2010 ; Last revised: November 21, 2012

Suggested Citation

Hodas, David, International Law and Sustainable Energy: A Portrait of Failure (December 2, 2011). Environmental Law And Sustainability After Rio, J Benedickson et al, eds. (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011); Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-21. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1648906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1648906

Contact Information

David Hodas (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
302 477 2186 (Phone)
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