Article from: OGEL 1 (2004), in Editorial
OGEL 1 (2004) constitutes the 6th edition of OGEL. It continues our expansion with a special feature devoted to the currently hotly-debated relationship between climate change, energy and implications of the Kyoto Protocol.
Climate Change Special Feature
The climate change policies now instituted in pursuit of the Kyoto protocol (mainly in the EU, so far) challenge the primacy of oil and gas. While this is not an issue for the consumers, it is the strategic issue for the main producing countries - and oil and gas producing companies. These are all at present starting to examine the implications of the Kyoto protocol, its demise, modification or expansion as the case may be, of the negotiated accession of Saudi Arabia and Russia to the WTO and of other climate-change related initiatives such as the Bonn 2004 Conference on Promotion of Renewable Energy. This special feature is put together as Guest Editor by Christian Egenhofer (supported by his team), coordinator of the European climate change network, fellow at the influential Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels and a climate change policy adviser to many governments and international agencies.
Sustainable development is at present the dominant yardstick (of very uncertain content) against which all energy activities and policy initiatives have to measure themselves. It is also behind the rhetoric from NGOs, international agencies (eg the World Bank's Extractive Industry Review) and some companies keen to be seen as socially acceptable in the face of 'civil society' criticism. What does sustainable development actually mean - and what are its roots and implications? This is the theme of the lead article by myself, presented and to be published eventually in a book by Friedl Weiss and Nico Schrijver.
This lead article is followed by a very controversial discussion between Gavin Longmuir and his critics on the future of the hydrocarbon economy, an issue that is closely linked to the climate change, sustainable development and regulatory and fiscal measures to promote conservation and renewable energy. Dr Longmuir's article has provoked heated debate on our ENATRES internet forum and OGEL now publishes the full 'Longmuir Report on the future of the Hydrocarbon Society'.
There are the usual sections of OGEL on electricity and on gas, followed by a new section on 'Good Governance'. Good governance is now an increasing challenge for companies, governments and international agencies and lawyers/regulators will have to translate lofty goals into practically effective standards.
The section on 'Management of international oil, gas, and energy disputes' has grown to a size that is more than the normal international arbitration journal. We intend to develop a branching out, distinct new service (journal-review, news, comment, discussion, primary legal materials; article archive) to be called 'Transnational Dispute Management' over the first part of this year. I would like to highlight the innovative approach to transnational mediation by Prof Dieter Flader, a psychoanalyst and cross-cultural business communications specialist with whom I had the pleasure to work with.
Complete News Coverage
The usual geographical 'round-up' of legal, fiscal, regulatory and contract comments follows, complemented by a gradually increasing 'news' section. We intend to provide a user-friendly, rapidly-readable 'digest' of relevant news - much in the style of the morning 'clippings selection' that is supposedly put on the breakfast table of presidents and CEOs.
I hope you enjoy and benefit from this OGEL issue. I am always grateful for user feed-back. I would be pleased if you continue to alert your colleagues to the wealth and depth of in-depth analysis and relevant commentary on recent developments in OGEL which has become the 'Global Energy Law/Regulation Portal'. OGEL is, as we note from user feed-back, particularly suitable for those users in emerging economies which are to some extent cut-off from the continuous supply of quality news and analysis - it has become a principal instrument to compensate for such informational handicap.
Editor in Chief
Thomas W Wälde
Professor & Jean-Monnet Chair
and Principal, Thomas Wälde & Associates