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Paolo Davide Farah, director of gLAWcal, is in the Organizing Committee of the conference

European Society of International Law

Interest Group on “International Environmental Law”

A pre-Annual Conference workshop on “In/ex-clusiveness in the energy transition and climate action” will be held on 31 August and 1 September 2022, in the context of the 2022 ESIL Annual Conference taking place in Utrecht (The Netherlands), 1– 3 September 2022.

Call for Papers

In/ex-clusiveness in the Energy Transition and Climate Action

A new era of global transition to a low-carbon economy was started at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015. The Paris Agreement strengthened global response to the threat of climate change by inter alia holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The Paris Agreement is viewed as historic turning point for global climate action.

Climate change constitutes a global challenge with local, national, regional, and international dimensions. Hence, each Party to the Paris Agreement shall pursue domestic mitigation and adaptation measures with the aim of achieving objectives set forth by their nationally determined contributions (NDC). In fact, NDCs bridge global and local climate action. Since every country is impacted differently, adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions. All stakeholders should be part of the process of creating national policies. Without inclusiveness, even the most well-intentioned climate action runs the risk of yielding inequitable results.

Meeting the objectives set forth by the Paris Agreement requires the decarbonization of the largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions – the energy sector. It is worth noting that about two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to burning fossil fuels for energy to be used for heating, electricity, transport, and industry. In other words, global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption to renewable energy sources, referred to as energy transition, should accompany our climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Should the energy transition be equally people-centred and inclusive? Who are the actors in the energy sector and what are their priorities? Are transparency, accountability and legitimacy embedded in their actions? Do international norms in business and human rights and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights sufficiently recognise non-state actor responsibility towards sustainable and equitable energy transition?

According to the International Energy Agency, the success of the energy transition related efforts rests on enabling citizens to benefit from the opportunities and navigate the disruptions. Social and economic impacts on individuals and communities, as well as issues of affordability and fairness should be well incorporated into the process of the energy transition.

The IG on International Environmental Law invites contributions on, but not limited to, the following;

- SDG 7 goal to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030
- Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063 to ensure access to energy services in Africa
- Role of multinational corporations, small and medium businesses, supply chains, and training institutions in the energy sector
- Role of NGOs, professional associations, academics, and younger generations in the energy transition
- Role of subnational and local governments, planning bodies, and other public sector regulatory bodies in energy governance
- Incorporation of gender, equality, and social inclusion considerations in the energy transition
- Legal and economic tools designed to facilitate transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient activities
- Energy transition as a tool to tackle inequality
- Universal clean energy access and the elimination of energy poverty
- Identification of barriers to delivering inclusive and equitable energy transition
- Inclusivity and equity in the energy transition planning
- Risk of disproportionate negative impacts of the energy transition on vulnerable populations
- Just Energy Transition
- Transition to low-carbon technologies and economic diversification based on climate-resilient investments and jobs
- Climate litigation as a tool to strengthen the inclusiveness of the energy transition
- Inclusive energy policies for sustainable economic and community development
- Innovative energy governance approaches in the Global South
- Policies to boost innovation and energy efficiency (tax incentives, subsidy, benefit sharing agreements, industrial reorganization and job creation)
- Public-Private Partnerships in the energy field (distribution and transmission, extraction of natural resources)
- Technology transfer and energy innovation

This call is open for academics, as well as practitioners of international organizations and NGOs working in these areas. The objective is to optimize research impact of our participants by engaging the different communities of practice in law, political science, climatology or environmental science in this interdisciplinary field of sustainability, energy and environment.


All Members of the ESIL Interest Group on International Environmental Law, the members of other ESIL IGs and also the non-ESIL members (ESIL membership might be required if the abstract is selected) are invited to submit abstracts.


The following must be submitted to by 25 April 2022:

The author’s name and affiliation;
•        A 500-700-word abstract [Word file and PDF]
•        The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications;
•        The author’s contact details, including email address and phone number;
•        Whether the author is an ESIL member

Multiple abstracts from the same authors will be considered, but only one can be selected. Co-authored multidisciplinary papers are also welcomed. Applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision no later than 30 April 2022.

The Organizers are unable to provide funding for any cost related to the participation to the conference.

Publication opportunities

The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference.

Organizing Committee

Daria S. Boklan (HSE University), Chamu Kuppuswamy (University of Hertfordshire, UK), Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University, USA & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, United Kingdom), Martin Svec (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)