Governments under Cross-fire? Renewable Energy and International Economic Tribunals
Article by Postdoctoral Fellow Daniel Behn and Coordinator Ole Kristian Fauchald, in Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2015.
States have sought to promote renewable energy generation as a means of meeting international and regional climate change objectives. These very policy initiatives are coming under attack when they might conflict with a state’s other international and regional obligations in the areas of international trade and foreign investment protection. Conflicts over how states can promote and incentivize renewable energy are increasingly brought before international courts and tribunals.
The focus of this article is on the international disputes that have arisen out of feed-in tariff programmes being used for as a means for incentivizing photovoltaic solar electricity generation. The article examines the measures taken by states, the subsequent revocation or severe modification of such measures, how these policy shifts are dealt with by international courts and tribunals, and the implications of the cases for future initiatives to promote renewable energy.