Trade, Investment and Climate Change: How International Economic Disputes in Renewable Energy are Shaping New Norms of Regime Interaction
Posted: 3 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2016
This paper analyzes renewable energy-related international economic disputes – both at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) before an arbitral tribunal as provided under investment treaties – to establish how their adjudication is redefining the norms of interaction between the international legal regimes for trade, investment and climate change. First, it will highlight how dispute settlement in international economic law is sensitive to the current realities of climate change and driving countries to secure greater regulatory space for renewable energy under newly negotiated trade and investment agreements. Second, it will analyze how changing geopolitical relations in the international economic regime are shaping shifts in the concept of differentiation under the climate regime. It uses the illustrative example of India, which increasingly finds itself at the crossroads of trade, investment and climate change, to argue that the blurring of lines between developed and developing countries’ measures in the renewable energy sector, as witnessed through renewable energy-related trade and investment disputes, have had an effect in diluting the concept of differentiation within the climate regime.
Keywords: Renewable energy, WTO, investor-State dispute settlement, UNFCCC, India
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