The international regulation for the protection of the environment in the development of marine renewable energies in the EU
SORIA-RODRÍGUEZ, C. 2021. The international regulation for the protection of the environment in the development of marine renewable energies in the EU, Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law (RECIEL), 30: 1, 46-60. https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12337
Marine renewable energy (MRE) technologies have been fostered in the European Union (EU) due to their potential contribution to achieving the EU’s climate objectives and the decarbonization of the energy system. However, their development can pose severe environmental risks to marine ecosystems. Hence, the EU requires environmental protection and sustainable growth for the development of MRE in maritime spaces under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of EU Member States. This article analyses the main international law instruments for the protection of the environment against the impacts associated with the deployment of MRE in the EU. It argues that the international legal framework is theoretically capable of protecting the environment against the impacts of MRE, but that it needs to be further developed and specified to ensure exhaustive protection. However, it also highlights the important role of this framework to provide a basis for developing the framework at the EU secondary law level.