You are looking at 1 - 10 of 10 items

  • Author or Editor: Vernon J.C. Rive x
Clear All Modify Search
This content is available to you

Vernon J.C. Rive

This introductory chapter overviews the background to the rapid rise in profile of fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel subsidy reform as a matter for international interest. It outlines the overall research aim of the book: to identify and critique the existing and potential future role of international law in relation to fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel subsidy reform. Within that overarching aim, there are five sub-objectives: (1) a critical inquiry into the extent to which fossil fuel subsidies and their related reform are appropriate subjects for international law; (2) to provide an empirically-informed account of existing international law sources, mechanisms, initiatives and institutions; (3) to assess legal frameworks mapped with reference to three primary criteria of effectiveness, legitimacy and fairness; (4) to examine the roles of regimes and regime interaction in a fragmented international legal system concerning fossil fuel subsidies; and (5) to consider what strategies might be adopted to address shortcomings identified in the course of the mapping and analysis. The analytical and methodological framework for the book is explained, and a précis of the structure and content of each chapter provided.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

This chapter provides a representative overview of the history, nature, scale and distribution of fossil fuel subsidies globally. Selective commentary focusing on the history of government support for the fossil fuel industry in Great Britain and the United States provides context for discussion on the role of developed countries and international positioning on fossil fuel subsidy reform elsewhere in the book. High-level conceptual and methodological approaches to defining and measuring fossil fuel subsidies are then addressed, covering three approaches: the 'price gap' method often associated with the International Energy Agency; the 'inventory' method associated with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development; and the 'unpriced externalities' method associated with the International Monetary Fund. The chapter concludes with a snapshot of a variety of global estimates of fossil fuel subsidies, with particular commentary on consumption subsidies in non-OECD countries and a brief overview of contrasting estimates of subsidies for renewable energy.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

This chapter provides an overview of the economic, policy and legal critiques of fossil fuel subsidies, examining three basic (connected) questions: (1) What do fossil fuel subsidies do? (2) Why do governments provide and maintain them? and (3) Why are fossil fuel subsidies seen as harmful? Assessing the effects of fossil fuel subsidies and their removal involves enquiry into first-order static effects, but also second-order dynamic effects which take into flow-on effects on domestic and global demand and supply of fossil fuels. The examination of underlying motivations for providing fossil fuel subsidies addresses the positive effects of fossil fuel subsidies including: poverty alleviation; fuel-switching; energy security; political stability; and the broader role of subsidies in contributing to economic growth. Critiques of fossil fuels include consideration of fiscal responsibility, resource conservation, distortion of international trade flows, non-climate change-related environmental impacts such as local and regional air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions-focused critiques. The chapter includes an introduction to the broad (and contested) concept of economic inefficiency which features strongly in a number of emerging international normative frameworks concerning fossil fuel subsidies.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

In this chapter, the fragmented nature of the international legal and institutional framework for oversight of energy subsidies is mapped and analysed. Key international institutions and sources of international law are examined, including: the WTO; UNFCCC; and IGOs (OECD, IEA, IMF, World Bank and the G20, APEC). Recognising the growing influence of non-governmental organisations towards the development of international norms and law particularly in the environmental context, the role and relevant activities of a number of key international NGOs are reviewed. The chapter also assesses the UNFCCC regime, including the system of Nationally Determined Contributions which to date has produced at least five national commitments with some reference or commitment to fossil fuel subsidy reform.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

The chapter assesses the existing General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade /WTO framework with particular focus on the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, subsidy notification processes, the Trade Policy Review Mechanism. It includes a table of the likely legal arguments a complainant would make in a WTO dispute on fossil fuel subsidies. The chapter commences with a high-level historical overview of opportunities within the pre-WTO GATT framework for addressing subsidies before undertaking a detailed critique of subsidy oversight and control under the ASCM. Key WTO transparency mechanisms are considered, including subsidy notification obligations and processes, and the Trade Policy Review Mechanism.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

This chapter assesses future opportunities for fossil fuel subsidy disciplines outside the ASCM, commencing with an analysis of the scope of addressing fossil fuels subsidies in WTO accession processes before turning to preferential trade agreements (PTAs) including three representative regional trade agreements: the European Union – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EU-Singapore FTA); Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP); and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The chapter also considers initiatives for reform of environmentally harmful subsidy rules within the ASCM, including the protracted negotiations on fisheries subsidies, and the background to and prospects of a New Zealand-led initiative to introduce a set of new disciplines on fossil subsidies within the WTO.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

The Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform is an informal coalition of nine non-Group of Twenty (G20) countries led by New Zealand which, since 2010, has assumed a prominent place on the international stage concerning fossil fuel subsidy reform. Drawing on constructivist-influenced frameworks for analysing international norm development, the chapter subjects the background, approach and strategies of the FFFSR to scrutiny. The analysis focuses on three aspects of the norm emergence cycle: the framing of fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel subsidy reform; the securing of support of state and non-state actors; and the strategic use of expertise and information to influence behaviour of other states. It critically examines an aspect of the FFFSR strategy and operation which has provoked interest and some controversy within academic and NGO circles: an observed focus on the rationalisation and elimination of fossil fuel consumption subsidies within developing countries while demonstrating an apparent degree of comfort and acceptance towards fossil fuel production subsidies in developed countries.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

This chapter focuses on what are currently the most developed international initiatives for fossil fuel subsidy reform - pilot voluntary peer review (VPR) exercises within the G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). A focus of this chapter is the development of international peer-review frameworks, often regarded as an element of so-called 'Experimentalist Governance', 'New Governance', or ‘global pluralist governance’ processes. A feature of the chapter is an empirical study of eight VPRs that have taken place under G20 and APEC arrangements between 2014 and 2018 for which documentation is publicly available, covering four peer reviews under the G20 process (China, United States (US), Mexico and Germany) and four under the APEC process (Peru, New Zealand, Philippines and Chinese-Taipei). The results of a high-level audit of all eight VPRs are presented, including quantitative and preliminary qualitative assessments of the outcomes of peer reviews of a total of 78 consumption and production support measures, categorised into six broad outcome scenarios. The overall conclusion is that IPR can be a useful tool in encouraging and facilitating fossil fuel subsidy reform but the mechanism has a number of limits. A principal shortcoming is the absence of a common (pre-) agreed normative framework which has resulted in ambiguity in subject matter and evaluative criteria.

You do not have access to this content

Vernon J.C. Rive

This chapter draws together much of the preceding discussion from the perspective of contemporary international law theories and analysis concerning fragmentation and regime interaction. Insights are highlighted on why state and non-state actors have been willing to expend significant political and diplomatic capital on curbing domestic fossil fuel subsidy policies which were formerly regarded as the sole prerogative of national governments as well as how the emerging frameworks for oversight of fossil fuel subsidies have been constructed, and are, or are not, operating. The chapter consider the implications of the fragmented/connected nature of international arrangements for fossil fuel subsidies, beginning with number of largely positive aspects of fragmentation and regime interaction concerning fossil fuel subsidies, before turning to potentially negative features. There is also a reflection on selected challenges, opportunities and innovations addressed in the book; addressing pitfalls best avoided, and offering suggestions for consideration by existing and future policy makers and academic researchers.

You do not have access to this content

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

An International Law Response

Vernon J.C. Rive

This much-needed book provides an empirically-grounded, and theoretically informed account of international law sources, mechanisms, initiatives and institutions which address and affect the practice of subsidising fossil fuel consumption and production. Drawing on recent scholarship on emerging international governance mechanisms, ‘informal’ international law-making and regime interaction, it offers suggestions, and critiques suggestions of others, for how the international law framework could be employed more effectively and appropriately to respond to environmentally and fiscally harmful fossil fuel subsidies.