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David Leary

Chapter 9 addresses legal implications of using new technology (autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) in the Antarctic. In the Southern Ocean and along the Antarctic coastline and in the airspace above the Antarctic, AUVs and UAVs respectively are emerging as a potentially valuable tool for scientific research. This chapter explores the potential scientific role that these vehicles could play, while offering thoughts on how these ‘robot’ technologies could potentially enhance environmental governance of the region. Leary considers the implications for international law and policy and seeks to sketch tentative answers to some key questions: To what extent is the use of AUVs and UAVs regulated under existing international law? What issues merit a regulatory response from the international community?

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David Leary

A wide range of policy options, including a range of market-based mechanisms are available to governments to support the development of renewable energy. These options include provision of investment incentives such as grant programmes, tax measures such as investment and production tax credits, government procurement policies, and guaranteed price systems such as feed-in tariffs. More common mechanisms include various market-based schemes built around obligations to purchase renewable energy, including portfolio standard or quota systems, and a binding renewable energy target. All of these options are present in some form or other in various government responses to climate change and in efforts to promote the development of renewable energy across Australia. By far the most important of these mechanisms has been the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme established under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth). This scheme was originally established to spur investment in renewable energy generation in Australia. This chapter argues that this core policy objective has been undermined by a constant stream of government-sponsored inquiries, reviews and legislative amendments that have created uncertainty and undermined investor confidence in the renewable energy industry. This chapter argues that the Australian experience demonstrates a fundamental lesson that the best way to destroy, or at a minimum undermine, the effectiveness of a market-based mechanism is to create a continual climate of uncertainty through inquiries and reviews and numerous amendments to the scheme.

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David Leary

This article provides an update on recent developments in wind energy use in the coastal zone (both onshore and offshore) in the Asia-Pacific region with a particular focus on China, South Korea, Japan and Australia. The focus of the article is on legal and policy measures in these jurisdictions relevant to recent developments in wind energy in the coastal zone. It argues that a range of policy measures, especially market-based mechanisms built around obligations to purchase renewable energy, including portfolio standard or quota systems, feed-in tariffs and renewable energy targets have been central to the promotion of renewable energy more broadly, and wind energy in the coastal zone in particular. However, all jurisdictions have experienced some measure of policy inconsistency as significant changes or abolition of various marketplace mechanisms have occurred over the past decade. This is contrary to industry demands for policy certainty. The article also examines the central role of environmental impact assessment in development of renewable energy projects in the coastal zone.