Eva Pander Maat and Pia Rebelo
Monday April 18th marked the kick-off of the Global Goals Research Exchange between the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen and City Law School at City, University of London. The Exchange presents an excellent opportunity to promote collaborative ties between legal researchers doing work in the topical areas of energy transitions and sustainable development. In the first iteration of the exchange, two City Law School researchers crossed the channel to present and discuss their work.
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).
Eva Pander Maat
On 20 April 2021, a panel of esteemed experts convened to discuss the book ‘The EU as a Global Regulator for Environmental Protection’ by Dr. Ioanna Hadjiyianni. The Webinar was organised by the Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL) and Professor Elaine Fahey, the Jean Monnet Chair in Law and Transatlantic Relations at City, University of London, who also moderated the event. This blog post revisits key points raised during the webinar and summarizes its conclusions.
Hadjiyianni’s book applies a critical transnational lens to the EU’s regulatory power in global environmental governance. It focuses on Internal Environmental Measures with Extraterritorial Implications (IEMEIs): unilateral measures which regulate trade based on conduct which takes place beyond EU borders. The book evaluates IEMEIs from a legitimacy perspective. Whilst access to the EU market is technically optional, it often cannot easily be forgone by third country businesses. This yields IEMEIs significant coercive effects, which gives rise to external legitimacy gaps. These occur across three main fronts: accountability, participation and representation, and access to justice. The main objective of the book is to map the enabling and constraining role of the law in the legitimacy of IEMEIs, focusing on EU and WTO law. The book takes an impressively comprehensive and systemic approach to a pertinent phenomenon in EU law and global environmental governance. This rightfully led it to be shortlisted for the prestigious SLS Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2020. It is therefore unsurprising that Hadjiyianni’s book is praised by all discussants for its thoroughness and offered ample material for an engaging, multi-faceted discussion which could easily have continued far beyond the webinar.