I am a Visiting Lecturer at Westminster Law School and currently working on a phd thesis in the field of international energy and climate change law. After completing my Bachelor degree in History and Philosophy at Lancaster and a Masters in Philosophy at Warwick University, I went on to study law at the University of Kiel in Germany and the College of Law in Chester. I am dual-qualified to practise law in England and Germany and spent a number of years as a solicitor specialising in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance before teaching business and company law at BPP University.
The energy sector in Europe is changing rapidly as a result of the emissions targets set out in the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. With the focus on reducing CO2 emissions to tackle the growing climate crisis, we are witnessing a change in the way we think about energy production and consumption towards a decentralised energy system where local energy producers take on a key role in the shift towards renewable energy. As the only multilateral treaty dealing specifically with the energy sector, the Energy Charter Treaty has attracted much criticism in recent years for being at odds with current CO2 targets because its investor protection provisions have the potential to protect fossil fuel companies from climate-friendly government policies.
My research explores the conceptual boundaries which formulated the current legal framework governing the European energy sector and which find expression in the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. I am interested in how it may be possible to redraw those boundaries to build a sustainable energy landscape, with more local participation, by aligning our thinking on energy with ideas emerging from current discourse in the field of business and human rights, as well as theories around how to share and manage our common resources. This may help us build a bridge between international energy markets and local energy initiatives - thereby addressing not only the need for a swift energy transition within sustainable communities but also the issue of local acceptance of this transition, without which the European energy targets will be impossible to meet. The aim of my research is to explore how the Energy Charter Treaty could be made to form a firm foundation on which to build such a bridge.