Inaugural lecture Marjolein Dieperink: “Without vision no transition. The law as an accelerator of the climate and energy transition”

September 28, 2022 | News

On Wednesday 28 September, Marjolein Dieperink will deliver her inaugural lecture “Without vision no transition. The law as an accelerator of the climate and energy transition” at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, as she assumes the position of endowed professor in the chair ‘Climate Change and Energy Transition’.

The cardinal question of her lecture - and her research - is how the law, once climate targets have been set, may play its part in battling the climate crisis by aiding the energy transition. She considers this issue against the backdrop of the Dutch and European emission reduction targets for 2030: a 55% decrease in the emission of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990. Her conclusion is the following:

  • In the battle against climate change we need not just money, innovations and the courts - we also need the law.
  • For legislation to be effective, three elements are essential: coherence, coordination and consistency. This requires a vision of the law that overarches every single aspect.
  • The measures that we implement to ensure that energy remains available and affordable in the short term put the brakes on our climate ambitions. Energy subsidies and keeping coal-powered power stations open are key concerns in this respect. In the long run, the two battles - the climate crisis and the energy crisis - must be fought as one. One way or another, we must make our energy supply and economy more sustainable. Designing a new carbon-neutral energy system ought to be considered an opportunity by the legislator. Facing a road mostly cleared from existing rights, the legislator could combine lessons learned from the energy crisis with measures to improve market regulation. That way, legislation is more than just an indispensable link in the chain - it can in fact become an accelerator of the climate and energy transition.

On 1 January 2022, Marjolein was appointed endowed profession in the chair “Climate Change and Energy Transition” at the law faculty of VU University Amsterdam. This chair, the institution of which was endorsed by AKD, addresses the social, urgent and vast challenge of battling the climate crisis, and in particular the energy transition wielded in that battle. The part played by the law in addressing climate change takes the limelight in Marjolein's research.

In November, Boomjuridisch will publish Marjolein's inaugural lecture as a book. From 29 September, the lecture can be downloaded from the VU's website.

For questions or additional information, please contact Marjolein Dieperink.

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