In this fascinating discussion, Tedd Moya Mose, a lawyer, academic, and consultant Researcher and Fellow at the University of Oxford, looks at the power of law to broaden access to electricity worldwide. From his experience as a lawyer in Kenya to British universities, he has come to understand that “if we get the legal framework or policy or regulation wrong, it is very, very difficult to have effective energy systems, and it’s very difficult to have modern life as we know it in a sustainable way.“
He looks at the principles needed for energy justice to be truly implemented, the power of information sharing, and the need to ensure that the law is applied in a fair and equitable manner. “Even the best-written laws need people who understand them to apply them. But the community also needs to be aware that these laws exist and need to know what rights there are to enforce them.”
The law is also instrumental in creating a level playing field and reconciling often conflicting objectives. This is what he calls the “energy trilemma”, opposing three equally strong interests: financial, environmental and political. The “law should come and be almost like the pivot; it should be at the centre of this dilemma and try to balance these interests”.
Finally, he provides an expert view of international treaties and agendas such as the 7th Sustainable Development Goal and the newly recognised UN right to a “clean and healthy environment”. “The law establishes rules, regulations and standards that have to be followed. (…) We need to have the same legal aims and principles. And once those legal aims and principles are well known and documented, they can infuse any legal system. So instead of looking at changing legal systems, what we need to do is to continually develop and accept and adopt and pass laws that carry certain legal standards and legal principles and legal aims that then will lead to action.”
Tedd Moya Mose is a lawyer, academic, and consultant Researcher and Fellow at the University of Oxford focused on mitigating climate change through the transition to a low carbon economy. In his work, he investigates the impact of law on various energy technologies and projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the UK, and the Middle East. Find him on Twitter @Contentedd or LinkedIn