Energy Law and Climate Change Specialist Group

Specialist Group Profile

Co-Chairs: Richard Ottinger and Wang Xi

The year in review

The Energy Law & Climate Specialist Group’s most significant accomplishment in 2012 was adoption of hydrofracking and energy resolutions at the IUCN World Conservation. The hydrofracking resolution adds to Motion 118 a direction that hydrofracking be prohibited unless a series of environmental protections are first adopted. The energy resolution, as redrafted by a Contact Group, places an obligation on the SG, business, and NGOs to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy and to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

Specialist Group Chair Richard Ottinger has also written a book analyzing renewable energy initiatives in developing countries with graduate student research assistants, almost all from the countries they researched, doing the research and first drafts. The book will be published in October 2013 by Edward Elgar in the U.K. Professor Ottinger has also participated actively in the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, which has developed a certification system with sustainability standards for biofuel production. In addition, he was part of the IUCN delegation to the UNFCCC COP conference in Durban, South Africa, and attended and reported on the proceedings and outcomes, including participation by the BASIC countries and a preliminary agreement on verification.

The Energy Law & Climate Change group is now working on a paper led by SG member Wang Xi, Vice Dean and Director of the Environment Law Center at Shanghai Jaio Tong University, on environmental governance and highlighting the roles played by governments at all levels, NGOs, the private sector and the courts in achieving or inhibiting progress on environmental protection, for the U.S. using actions for protection of the Hudson River as a case study.