Selected Legal Issues
Chapter 1: A fragmented global energy governance
Energy engages almost every aspect of human endeavor in modern times. In the words of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon: ‘it is unimaginable that today’s economies could function without electricity and other modern energy services. From job creation to economic development, from security concerns to the status of women, energy lies at the heart of all countries’ core interests’. Moreover, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), ‘energy alone is not sufficient for creating the conditions for economic growth, but it is certainly necessary. It is impossible to operate a factory, run a shop, grow crops or deliver goods to consumers without using some form of energy’. Furthermore, energy is the mainstay of today’s economy in the developed world, in the rapidly industrializing developing world, and in other parts of the world. Such is its importance to the modern economy that energy security has been linked to national security. Yet one in five people in the world today has no access to electricity, and there are large inequalities in per capita electricity consumption across countries (see Figure 1.1). Such inequalities often have their roots in history, but some crucial questions arise: Is the global energy economy being collectively managed in an effective way that is steering us towards greater energy security for all? Is the global governance framework for energy security comprehensive and inclusive?