Posted on Friday 31st January 2014
Dr Luca Rubini, who recently visited the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute in Florence, has this month published a working paper that outlines his assessment of the recent high-profile WTO litigation on subsidies to support renewable energy.
This paper uses this litigation in the important sector of the ‘green energy’ economy as relevant case-study to assess the role and relationship of law, policy and economics in subsidy decisions. This output is the culmination of Dr Rubini’s research and policy activity in this case which has taken him to give advice to NGOs in the context of the Panel proceedings in 2012 and submit an amicus curiae brief before the Appellate Body in 2013.
His main claim is that, in the face of insufficient laws and pressing policy considerations, subsidy laws have been completely misconstrued, with both the Panel and Appellate Body incurring several errors. It can be reasonably expected that these errors may have broader, negative implications in the future, but, it is hoped, highlight the importance of changing the current rules. It is for WTO Members to find a solution now and draw in a clear way the line between what type of support to green energy is permitted and what is not permitted.
The paper is part of a broader book project on the governance and regulation of green energy subsidies in the WTO (due to come out with Cambridge University Press). A shorter version of the paper will be published later in the year in the Journal of World Trade.
"What does the recent WTO litigation on renewable energy subsidies tell us about methodology in legal analysis? : the good, the bad, and the ugly" is a Working Paper of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and can be read online