Litigation and Regulatory Governance in the Age of the Anthropocene: The Case of Fracking in the Karoo

(2020) 11(1-2) Transnational Legal Theory 144

19 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021

See all articles by Melanie Murcott

Melanie Murcott

University of Pretoria

Emily Webster

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy

Date Written: May 3, 2020

Abstract

The demand for fossil fuels, and most recently natural gas, has resulted in large-scale intervention with the Earth both from its extraction and its overwhelming contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, and so climate change. Adopting a transnational legal methodology, this article assesses the role of non-state actors in the regulation of fracking in the ecologically and socially sensitive area of the Karoo, South Africa. What appears is a constellation of actors involved in what at first seems to be a purely domestic matter, which includes the government and transnational fossil fuels promoting fracking on the one hand, and various non-state actors, such as civil society, domestic business as well as the global anti-fracking movement, opposing fracking on the other. The role and power of the state to regulate fracking is significantly impacted by these actors, including by refocussing the minds of transnational corporations and the state on the centrality of public participation, by challenging regulations introduced to govern fracking, and through delaying the operationalisation of fracking in the Karoo.

Keywords: Transnational law, Anthropocene, litigation, South Africa, fossil fuel

Suggested Citation

Murcott, Melanie and Webster, Emily, Litigation and Regulatory Governance in the Age of the Anthropocene: The Case of Fracking in the Karoo (May 3, 2020). (2020) 11(1-2) Transnational Legal Theory 144, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3811443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3811443

Melanie Murcott

University of Pretoria ( email )

Physical Address Economic and Management Sciences
Pretoria, Gauteng 0002
South Africa

Emily Webster (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

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