Professor David Collins, City Law School
Last week Jeremy Hunt, the UK Chancellor, announced that the UK would pursue implementation of its own Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The EU adopted its own CBAM which is due to go into effect gradually over the next few years – it is currently in an information-gathering stage.
The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a multi-party investment treaty covering investment in the energy sector. Established in the 1990s, the ECT has over 50 signatories, including the UK. The ECT contains many of the traditional protections for foreign investment found in international investment agreements (IIAs), and much like international investment law generally, the treaty has been subjected to widespread criticism in recent years. The ECT has been particularly vilified for its alleged failure to deal with climate change by maintaining extensive protections for industries that supposedly contribute to this global problem.
Negotiations at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are underway against the backdrop of COP27, the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. This is the last COP before the IMO is set to decide its revised Greenhous Gas (GHG) strategy in the Spring of 2023 at the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s eightieth session (MEPC 80). The revised strategy is crucial as the IMO’s Fourth GHG Study has revealed that international shipping is currently set to increase its emissions to 90-130% of its 2008 emissions by 2050. Whilst various stakeholders are awaiting details on the IMO’s mid-term and long-term measures to strengthen its ambition, states in the Global North are making big pledges to roll out end-to-end decarbonised shipping routes known as “Green Corridors”. This follows commitments at COP26 to the Clydebank Declaration, an undertaking from governments to facilitate partnerships for the establishment of green routes and enabling infrastructure. The UK also recently showed its commitment to green shipping by setting aside £60 million for innovative clean maritime technologies as part of its Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (which is now in round 3).