Discussions highlight legal safeguards for policy-makers in designing local content initiatives
The College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently marked the launch of a newly published book Local Content and Sustainable Development in Global Energy Markets, which was edited by Dr. Damilola S. Olawuyi, associate professor at HBKU’s College of Law.
Dr. Olawuyi chaired a webinar with several of the book’s contributing authors to discuss the design and implementation of local content requirements (LCRs) in global energy markets, with a focus on a sustainable and rights-based approach. While LCRs are aimed at boosting domestic value creation and economic growth, the presentations made it clear that inappropriately designed LCRs could produce a host of negative outcomes. These include unintended social, human rights, and environmental issues, as well as poorly aligned national fiscal policies and global sustainable development goals.
Key speakers presenting their legal expertise were Dr. Susan L. Karamanian, dean of the College of Law; Catherine Banet, associate professor, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, University of Oslo, Norway; and Tina Soliman Hunter, professor of Energy and Resources Law, Macquarie Law School, Australia. Also on the panel were Eduardo Pereira, professor of Energy and Natural Resources, Siberian University, Russia, and Timothy Meyer, professor of Law and director of the International Legal Studies Program at Vanderbilt University Law School, United States.
The discussions turned to legal and institutional safeguards for designing and implementing sustainable LCRs with a focus on how to balance LCRs with the wider policy priorities of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 7, targeting universal access to modern energy. The panel highlighted the importance of networks and supplier development programs and shared lessons from Norway, Australia, Brazil, and the United States on better aligning LCRs with sustainable development.
Speaking after the event, Dr. Karamanian said: “The new book edited by the College of Law’s Dr. Olawuyi is a substantial contribution to this area of growing importance, in which lawmakers are balancing a sustainability agenda with local value creation. In-depth case studies in the book offer valuable lessons for all major gas and oil-producing regions in setting their benchmarks. Consistent with our teaching philosophy at the College of Law, the book takes a dynamic comparative approach. We appreciate the insights shared by several of the contributing authors at our webinar, who brought new legal perspectives to LCRs.”
The College of Law regularly holds events that showcase its research interests and activities. For more information please visit cl.hbku.edu.qa.