How binding are the EU's 'binding' renewables targets?

21 March 2013

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About the lecture

The development of the European Union's law and policy on renewable energy has been slow and cautious. One big step forward was claimed with the Second Renewables Directive in 2009: Member States had agreed to accept 'binding' targets for renewable energy, rather than the 'indicative' targets which had applied under the First Renewables Directive in 2001. While the 2009 Directive has received much attention on various other topics (biofuels, guarantees of origin and trading/transfer mechanisms), comparatively little attention has been paid to what it means to have 'binding targets'. This paper will examine: how those targets have been developed, how they are defined; what enforcement mechanisms are available in EU law and their likely effectiveness; and some possible future approaches to this issue. Given the European Commission's intention to review the operation of the EU legal framework on renewables, with a view to making new proposals, it is hoped that some of the matters raised here will contribute to that review and future proposals.

About the speaker

Angus Johnston is a CUF Lecturer and a Fellow in Law at University College, where he arrived in September 2010.

He read for the B.A. (Law with Law Studies in Europe) and the B.C.L. at Brasenose College and was elected to the Vinerian Scholarship in 1999. He read for the LL.M. in European Union Law and was also Lecturer at the Institute for Anglo-American Law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 1997-8.

He was a Fellow and Director of Studies in Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (from 1999) and University Lecturer (from 2004) and then Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University (from 2008) until his appointment to Oxford. He has been a visitor to Harvard Law School and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg; he is also an affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University and at the Jacobs University, Bremen.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this seminar is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

Time: 6-7pm (registration from 5.30pm)

Location: Minter Ellison Room, Level 13 Old Law School, St James Campus, Phillip St, Sydney

Cost: Free, registration essential

Contact: PLaCE Coordinator

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 3f56101c0b3f365d441d26103d5d2f1d131e0a0800160012