A Just Energy Transition Through the Lens of TWAIL

Love Alfred (Corresponding / Lead Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Nobody contests the importance of increasing finances and investments in renewable energy (RE) in developing countries to achieve sustainable energy access and security and associated economic development, and the implications for attaining the global decarbonization objective. However, there is a great deal of debate over the nature of these financial investments and contributions. While the developing countries believe that these investments and financial obligations should be a matter of justice, the developed countries say it is a matter of moral assistance. It is in light of this that this paper discusses how developing countries perceive public international law initiatives and strategies in the RE transition (SET) through the lens of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).The language of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which admits to the agreement of developed countries to increase financial support and RE investments in developing countries but disagrees with framing such obligations as reparations, turns on debates between justice and assistance and the UN’s third option of ‘loss and damage’. The paper argues that in many ways, just like other public international law initiatives, SET and its (investment) objectives are buffeted by the varying contemplations and considerations of equality and fairness. There are diverging opinions on whose idea of fairness is most essential and will lead to the best outcomes for everyone hence the reliance on ‘loss and damage’ (FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1: Art 47-58) – a balance of interest approach by UNFCCC - international law. The article agrees that there is no one-size-fits-all pathway or justice dimension that can be applied in every context to achieve the transition goal. This is due to inescapable energy inequities, different starting points for countries, attendant individual, and collective rights, and the disciplinary or sectoral trade-offs that the transition to RE entails. However, the paper speaks to the lack of stringent plans and procedures in place to safely deliver on the transition and questions the nature of the SET and its investments; and how this differs from energy justice. The paper submits that the UNFCCC’s SET lines of energy justice are blurred as they do not mark with greater stringency the nature of developed countries’ financial contributions and investments as a duty of justice. And as such, these investments and transition processes have become inequitable, and this begs the question as to the plausibility of a just or timely transition without leaving anyone behind.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1
    Number of pages23
    JournalThe Opole Studies in Administration and Law
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2023


    • Sustainable Energy Transition
    • Energy Justice
    • Common but differentiated responsibilities
    • TWAIL
    • Contexts


    Dive into the research topics of 'A Just Energy Transition Through the Lens of TWAIL'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this