IDDRI points out legal issues in ocean energy development

The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) has issued a brief analysis of legal and regulatory challenges for the global development of ocean energy sector.

The ‘Ocean energy: key legal issues and challenges’ identifies legal issues regarding the following themes of marine governance: international law, environmental impacts, rights and ownership, consenting processes and management of marine space and resources.

According to IDDRI, legal and regulatory issues as major non-technical barrier to ocean energy development, and by requiring exclusive occupation of ocean space, ocean energy is effectively privatizing a common good and creating potential for conflict with other rights-holders and existing marine users.

Other highlights of the analysis state that uncertainties regarding the ocean energy devices’ interactions with the environment must be better accommodated in regulatory processes, and based on adaptive and risk management strategies.

It also points out that it is still unclear how ocean energy and other new marine industries can be integrated into Marine Spatial Planning processes.

IDDRI analysis concludes: “The challenges identified in this Issue Brief present a call to action for development of appropriate governance structures for ocean energy technologies. Understanding and addressing the legal challenges will be a major factor in determining whether ocean energy becomes a successful and sustainable commercial-scale industry.”

IDDRI is a non-profit policy research institute based in Paris whose objective is to determine and share the keys for analyzing and understanding strategic issues linked to sustainable development from a global perspective.

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Image: Alstom

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