Jindal Global Law Review

ENERGY, CLIMATE AND LAW

VOLUME 10, ISSUE 1, 2019

Issue Editors : Kshtij Bansal, Armin Rosencranz

Editor's Instructions : Energy, Climate and Law Kshitij Bansal and Armin Rosencranz (PDF)

ARTICLES

1. According legal identity to natural resources: Approach towards environment protection
Akaant Mittal
Article (PDF) | Abstract


The sobering 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report shows that the world has a limited window to reduce dire climate change induced consequences by restricting temperature rise to 1.5°C. India, one of the largest economies in the world and the third largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, is critical in this fight against climate change. India is working to address multiple goals of accelerating economic growth, ensuring energy security, providing reliable energy access, and addressing climate change while bringing millions of people out of poverty. Despite these challenges, India has an ambitious and achievable plan to address climate change. This article discusses India’s domestic climate actions, progress on climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, and the potential to transition to a low carbon economy.
Mittal, A. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 7.
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2. Climate consequences: If India sneezes
Anjali Jaiswal, Madhura Joshi and Sameer Kwatra
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, climate change has gained greater prominence as a topic of importance in both public international law as well as national law. The energy sector has been at the forefront of deliberations on climate change, and the commitments made by parties to the Paris Agreement. India is going through an energy transition, straddling its broad commitments under the Paris Agreement with the specific challenges of providing universal, clean, and reliable energy to its citizens. Indian policymakers have been tasked with the challenge of making, monitoring, and enforcing effective laws to fulfil the overarching pledges made at the international level, while distilling them into national and sub-national law and policy, on a subject-matter that is the domain of legislation by both the centre and the states. This article explores some themes arising from this transition, examining the extant legal and regulatory framework governing issues at the intersection of the environment and energy. The authors undertake an evaluation of the successes and failures of schemes such as ‘Saubhagya’ and ‘Ujjwala’ aimed at energy access, and the rooftop solar PV scheme aimed at decentralized energy, and offer some recommendations to policymakers. Some of the recommendations include the framing of an approach based on a better appreciation of externalities and co-benefits, strengthening regulations and regulatory approaches, and the employment of a rich inter-disciplinary approach for making laws. The article aims to provide an overview of some of the more crucial issues in India’s energy sector and inform future research on regulation and policy-making in the field.
Jaiswal, A., Joshi, M. & Kwatra, S. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 19.
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3. An assessment of India’s energy transition: Paris and beyond
Bharath Jairaj and Parul Kumar
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, climate change has gained greater prominence as a topic of importance in both public international law as well as national law. The energy sector has been at the forefront of deliberations on climate change, and the commitments made by parties to the Paris Agreement. India is going through an energy transition, straddling its broad commitments under the Paris Agreement with the specific challenges of providing universal, clean, and reliable energy to its citizens. Indian policymakers have been tasked with the challenge of making, monitoring, and enforcing effective laws to fulfil the overarching pledges made at the international level, while distilling them into national and sub-national law and policy, on a subject-matter that is the domain of legislation by both the centre and the states. This article explores some themes arising from this transition, examining the extant legal and regulatory framework governing issues at the intersection of the environment and energy. The authors undertake an evaluation of the successes and failures of schemes such as ‘Saubhagya’ and ‘Ujjwala’ aimed at energy access, and the rooftop solar PV scheme aimed at decentralized energy, and offer some recommendations to policymakers. Some of the recommendations include the framing of an approach based on a better appreciation of externalities and co-benefits, strengthening regulations and regulatory approaches, and the employment of a rich inter-disciplinary approach for making laws. The article aims to provide an overview of some of the more crucial issues in India’s energy sector and inform future research on regulation and policy-making in the field.
Jairaj, B. & Kumar, P. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 35. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00085-2.

 

4. Adaptive governance in a changing climate situation: Exploring a practical approach to manage depleting water resources in Gurgaon, India
Chandni Bedi
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Adaptive governance is an emergent form of environmental governance in the face of the complexities and uncertainties associated with climate change. This article highlights its importance in the context of the water sector which has witnessed an impact due to changing scenarios. The key drivers and dimensions in adaptive governance are discussed using a case study in the villages of Haryana. Though there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, the study helps to examine the practical tools used to implement adaptive governance. Objective indicators can be complemented to further understand its benefits in a context-specific situation.
Bedi, C. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 49. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00088-z.

 

5. The Global Pact for the Environment: A General instrument to face climate change
Domenico Amirante
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Global Pact for the Environment emerged as an answer to the need for a general legal instrument on climate change which produces binding obligations. It is not just another international legal instrument which places legal obligations on state and non-state parties to address climate change. Rather, it is a novel instrument which links with national Constitutions and introduces innovative international legal principles which bind state and non-state actors as well as multinational corporations in working together towards climate change. Also, the instrument moves beyond the polluter pays principle to focus on taking precautionary measures of maintaining as well as restoring the environment. Despite the criticism of the Pact being expressed by some scholars, the Global Pact presents itself as a promising document geared to address the pressing issue of climate change.
Amirante, D. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00090-5.

 

6. One world, one sun, one grid: A (modi)fication in India’s environment
Harsh Vardhan Bhati
Article (PDF) | Abstract


With a growing population and its needs, India is moving towards more pollution and less non-renewable resources left for the future generations. In this chaotic state, one thing certain is that India’s power requirement will grow. Renewable energy plays a significant role in providing sustainable and clean energy and mitigating climate change. As energy lies at the heart of the climate dilemma, producing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 is a commendable but ambitious goal of India under Paris Accord of Climate Change. It is evident that the development of the Indian solar energy sector hinges on the combination of legislative framework, financial mechanisms, local manufacturing sector, environmentally sound technology, etc. Despite the growing impetus of solar energy in India, there are still gaps in its governance. In this article, the author focuses on the current status, challenges and future prospects of solar energy development in India and sums up the way forward with recommendations to address some of these gaps.
Bhati, H.V. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00086-1.

 

7. The namele mechanism: A Methodological tool to assist climate adaptation
Kristen Davies
Article (PDF) | Abstract


In the context of the escalating imperative of responding to the impacts of global warming, there is a need for enforcement and methodological mechanisms that bridge the gaps between legislation, principles, conventions, protocols and their ‘on-ground’ application. A new tool in environmental law for such a purpose is proposed in this paper, named the ‘namele mechanism’, and is developed to guide processes of adaptive co-management. This methodological mechanism has been built on platforms of traditional local knowledge and practices of first peoples and local communities, particularly those from Vanuatu and the South Pacific, where systems of traditional customary law are still being practised. Much thought underpinning its development was founded on the empirical data captured in 58 in-depth interviews with chiefs, community leaders, government representatives and legal scholars. The namele mechanism recognises the effectiveness of contemporary management practices that are informed by science and technology, as well as customary law and historic practices that may have been in situ for tens of thousands of years. The introduction of such a mechanism is supported by existing protocols and instruments such as the Nagoya Protocol and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The rationale behind its approach promises to strengthen and innovate optimal environmental management approaches that are bespoke for specific places and communities. Such a mechanism will assist with the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goals 13, 14 and 15. Through a ‘bottom-up’ approach that focuses on the involvement of local communities in the protection of their local ecosystems, the namele mechanism will provide an important step towards the empowerment of first peoples and local communities as they adapt to changing environmental conditions imposed by global warming.
Davies, K. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00091-4.

 

8. Food and Climate Change
Sahil Aggarwal
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Food is an essential component of human life. Various stages such as food production, transportation, and consumption have an environmental consequence, akin to any other activity where humans consume resources. At the stage of food production, meat and dairy are a concern as they release more carbon emissions as compared to other food items. The article shows how institutions and governments can encourage people towards conscious consumption and lowering the carbon emissions. Other food practices such as packaging, preservation, and transportation are similarly discussed in the context of environment mitigation. This discussion is focused on greenhouse emissions but also touches on other environmental aspects such as water and energy. It is recommended that through macro policies, institutional practices, and social activism, humans adopt an eco-friendlier diet.
Aggarwal, S. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00083-4.

 

9. A new dawn: Rise of a new energy regime in India and the World
Siddharth Johar
Article (PDF) | Abstract


Mankind has shared a deep relationship with energy and its sources since their initial discovery. Energy has helped humans prosper but today it has created a multi-faceted problem. The reckless use of fossil fuels has polluted our environment and a large number of humans live without access to any reliable sources of energy. Due to its non-polluting nature and decentralized character, renewable energy can be an effective solution to these issues. While there are international efforts to promote renewable energy, national policies and implementation play a very important role in its actual expansion. One of the countries at the forefront of the transition to renewable energy is India. Although there has been substantial growth of renewable energy in India, the domestic policies need to undergo major changes to make the transition to renewable energy a success. Under this transitional process, a special emphasis is needed on persons without access to reliable sources of energy.
Johar, S. Jindal Global Law Review (2019) 10: 129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-019-00087-0.

 

BOOK REVIEW

10. Isabel M. Borges, environmental change, forced displacement and international law: From legal protection gaps to protection solutions
Prashant Singh
(PDF)