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International Law and Sustainable Energy: A Portrait of Failure

Environmental Law And Sustainability After Rio (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011)

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-21

30 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Jun 2014

David Hodas

Widener University - Delaware Law School

Date Written: July 26, 2010

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.

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

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Hodas, David, International Law and Sustainable Energy: A Portrait of Failure (July 26, 2010). Environmental Law And Sustainability After Rio (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011); Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1648906

David Hodas (Contact Author)

Widener University - Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302 477 2186 (Phone)

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