Meeting the climate challenge: New legal instruments and issues in national and international energy and climate law (completed)

The project has been approved by the Research Council of Norway and is funded through the “RENERGI”-programme.

Photo: Catherine Banet, UiO


The goals of the project are to update and develop new insight into the legal issues raised by the increasing demand and emerging markets for renewable energy, the interplay between energy law and climate law and respective markets, and the implementation and further development of the Kyoto mechanisms, in particular their environmental integrity, with a view to the post Kyoto phase and with CDM as a case study.

The core of the project consists of two main studies at the post doc./PhD level, carried out in parallel.

Catherine Banet's PhD-project: Promoting sustainable energy by market-based instruments: design and trading rules for renewable energy and energy efficiency certificates

Christina Voigt's post doc. project: Keeping it Green - Safeguarding the Environmental Integrity of the CDM.

The project seeks to develop high level insight and competence in the various elements of climate and energy law and the relationship between them. To this effect, close cooperation between the researchers and special coordinating activities are foreseen.


There is an intrinsic link between the stability of the climate system and global energy security. Global energy demands are expected to grow by 60% over the next 25 years. This has the potential to cause significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Given the demand for secure, reliable and affordable energy, a carbon-reduced, global economy needs alternative energy sources. From a climate perspective, the limits for the output of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are defined. Atmospheric CO2 eqv concentrations below 400 ppm are generally regarded as 'safe'. Within this frame, energy and climate measures need to establish a coherent system. In this context, the recent G8 Summit in Gleneagles, State representatives concluded that “[t]ackling climate change and promoting clean technologies, while pursuing energy security and sustainable development, will require global concerted effort over a sustained period of time.”

The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Kyoto protocol with its various flexible mechanisms is the main international set of instruments for combating climate change. The application, enforcement and further development of this regime, and its implementation in national policy and law, have already major influence on energy policy around the world. Within this framework, EU is developing and applying major new policies in the energy field with its main objective to meet the Kyoto targets, and the development and promotion of renewable energy is central in this effort. These international regimes increasingly influence many parts of national policy in the industrial countries. As a party to FCCC and the Kyoto protocol, and as a member of EEA, Norway is to a large extent framed by them in its climate an energy policy. The energy sector is crucial in Norway’s effort to comply with its Kyoto commitment. The fact that there is a common Nordic electricity market, with direct links to the European market, emphasizes the international character of the issue and the importance of updated knowledge and close international cooperation in the legal field.

Thus, climate law and energy law, although with formally different origins and objectives, and different instruments and administrative solutions, are mutually dependent and increasingly intertwined. There is a clear need for better insight into the many intersections of these two areas of law, and how they are implemented and function.

The last G8 summit placed a warning note by stating: “We face serious and linked challenges in tackling climate change, promoting clean energy and achieving sustainable development globally.” Synergies in climate and energy responses could provide opportunities and optimism for a more secure and sustainable world, moving away from the severe dependency of and conflicts over oil. This project is subordinated to this general goal. 


Published June 25, 2012 3:36 PM - Last modified Sep. 4, 2015 11:07 AM