International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow 119454, Russian Federation
Abstract. The growing importance of environmental protection factors, including climate, in economic activities makes it relevant to study the latest trends in regulating environmental relations in the energy industry. The impact of this sphere on the environment in general and on the climate in particular is one of the most.
The main motivations of the “energy transition” to “clean” energy sources are considered. The directions of “greening” the regulation of energy relations in international law are studied: the impact of universal climate agreements on the regulation of energy relations and the use of “sustainable development” and environmental protection in international treaties and law enforcement practice. The directions for “greening” regulating energy relations in domestic law, on the example of the development of energy and climate legislation of the European Union and practice of “climate justice” in the national courts.
The main conclusions are formulated: 1) international climate agreements allow for a wide range of energy-related climate protection measures and leave states free to decide which ones to choose; 2) current international environmental law is less stringent and effective than current international economic law. Although the concept of “sustainable development” is increasingly used in international economic treaties and law enforcement practice, the scale of its practical impact, including on the regulation of energy relations, should not be overestimated. The “environmental exceptions” to the general rules of international trade and investment law are of real significance. However, the “environmental exceptions” in key existing international multilateral trade and investment treaties have a relatively narrow scope, and the prospects for changing these treaties remain questionable. At the same time, the practice of application of international treaties and the “new generation”, providing a wider “environmental exceptions”, is in the process of formation and it remains to answer the question of whether exceptions are to be interpreted traditionally restrictive or their importance in the regulation of economic (including energy) relations will increase; 3) the practical effect of growing “climate affairs” against governments and companies at the current stage, it is difficult to fully predict, however, the obvious legal problems (incl. related to the establishment of relatability and causation) with the involvement of individuals to account for the adverse effects of climate change.
Keywords: energy transition, renewable energy sources, international climate agreements, General agreement on tariffs and trade, Energy Charter Treaty, sustainable development, environmental exceptions, carbon footprint, energy balances, climate justice.
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