Energy, Consumption, and the Amorality of Energy Law
109 AJIL Unbound 147 (2015)
7 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2016 Last revised: 15 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 25, 2015
This essay explores the connection between energy consumption and energy law and policy. It argues that the energy law and policy system is configured to promote consumption, almost blindly, so that energy seems nearly infinite and invisible to consumers. This regulatory structure thus creates a kind of amorality for energy consumers. That is, when individuals choose to consume power, those decisions are divorced from their consequences. The essay relies on Pope Francis's encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si', to build its argument, and offers observations about the importance of COP21 in Paris to transform how energy is produced and consumed.
Keywords: Energy consumption, climate change, energy law, energy policy, energy morality, energy amorality, Pope Francis, COP21, encyclical, Laudato Si, renewable energy, energy efficiency
JEL Classification: E2, K2, K3, K23, N7, N50, N51, N52, O13, O20, O40, Q4, Q28, Q38, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q48, Q49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation