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Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

An International Law Response Vernon JC Rive, AUT School of Law, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
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.
Extent: c 320 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: September 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78536 088 6
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78536 089 3

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  • Environment
  • Environmental Law
  • Law - Academic
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Law and Development
  • International Economic Law, Trade Law
Fossil fuel consumption is an increasingly volatile issue, and its subsidisation continues to be challenged by lobbyists and activists. This timely book provides an empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed account of international law sources, mechanisms, initiatives and institutions relevant to the practice of subsidising fossil fuel consumption and production.

This book offers a wide-ranging analysis and critique of polycentric international responses to environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies. Drawing on interviews with officers and representatives of a wide range of institutions involved in subsidy reform, as well a broad range of cabinet papers and diplomatic correspondence, Vernon Rive dissects and maps the activities of the international legal and governance framework relevant to fossil fuel subsidy reform. Featuring sustained and comprehensive analysis throughout, the book considers the existing WTO framework’s potential to legally challenge fossil fuel subsidy practices.

This engaging book will be indispensable to researchers in law with a particular interest in the frameworks that underpin and challenge fossil fuel subsidies. Furthermore, it will provide critical insight for legal practitioners and policymakers operating in international trade and environment policy, as well as wider global climate change networks.
‘Why are countries still subsidising oil, gas and coal when climate change is upon us? By masterfully mapping and assessing trade, investment and other regimes of international law, as well as policy forums such as the G20, Vernon Rive provides crucial insights into fragmentation, forum shifting and prospects for reform.’
– Margaret Young, University of Melbourne, Australia
Contents: PART I BACKGROUND AND FOUNDATIONS 1. Introduction 2. Historical and global overview of fossil fuel subsidies 3. Operation and critiques of fossil fuel subsidies PART II MAPPING AND ASSESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES TO FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES 4. The international legal and governance framework 5. Fossil fuel subsidies under the existing WTO framework 6. Beyond the ASCM: fossil fuel subsidies under accession processes, preferential trade agreements, and prospects for trade law reform 7. The Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform 8. International Peer Reviews of Fossil Fuel Subsidies 9. Conclusions Index