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The Nature of Law Newsletter, September 2011



September 2011

Message from the Chief Counsel

This is our third edition of the Nature of Law newsletter for 2011 and as always, we in LEGEN strive to provide you with information on recent developments relevant to sustainable development and natural resources management. This edition continues in that tradition and we present articles that discuss issues ranging from the rules of eligibility for GEF financing to a US-EU dispute regarding the inclusion of aviation activities within the EU Emission Trading System, among others.

In this edition, Carla Theis describes the concrete example of a GEF proposal for concessional financing to the Netherlands Antilles.  Referring to the eligibility for financing criteria under the GEF Instrument, Carla describes the different tests and their substantive as well as procedural requirements. In a fascinating article, Giovanni Bo discusses a recent dispute between the US and the EU, arising from a 2008 EU Directive that provided for the inclusion of aviation activities in the scheme for Green House Gas emission allowance trading within the EU. In the dispute, the Air Transport Association of America, joined by three American airlines, has challenged the validity of the 2008 Directive before the High Court of England and Wales on the ground that the application of the EU Emission Trading System to international aviation violates the principles of customary international law, as well as bilateral and multilateral treaties to which the EU and its member States are parties.

In another topical piece, Evarist Baimu discusses the implications of the recent birth of South Sudan as a new state. He focuses on issues relating to the World Bank’s provision of assistance to a non-member country, its potential membership in the World Bank and its affiliates, as well as its territorial dispute with Sudan. Finally, Nina Eejima reports on her participation in the International Freshwater Law Conference: “Freshwater and International law: The Multiple Challenges” held in Geneva in July.  The conference examined such issues as water conflicts, access to drinking water, deterioration of water quality, and drought management, all of which feature heavily among the priority topics on the international agenda today, and presentations were given by LEGEN Alum Salman Salman, among others. 

As always, we would greatly appreciate your suggestions and comments.

Charles E. Di Leva
Chief Counsel, Climate Change, Sustainable Development and International Law

Alberto Ninio
Chief Counsel, Environmental and Social Safeguards




Eligibility under the GEF Instrument
Carla Thies

A recent query on the eligibility for GEF financing of the Netherlands Antilles offers the opportunity for summarizing the rules on eligibility in the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environmental Facility (the “GEF Instrument”). The GEF Instrument has separate rules for GEF membership (para. 7) and GEF eligibility (para. 9), with the consequence that a country, though not a GEF member (technically called a “participant”), may still be eligible to receive GEF funds. More

The US Challenge to the Inclusion of Aviation Activities within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme: A US-EU Dispute with Global Repercussions
Giovanni Bo

The European Union (EU) has long been committed to international efforts to combat climate change. Starting with the first Community strategy to limit carbon dioxide emissions and improve energy efficiency back in 1991, the European Union has been a front runner in the adoption of policy and legislative measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The cornerstone of the EU’s strategy for fighting climate change is the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). By covering over 11,000 stationary sources in the energy and industrial sectors which are collectively responsible for close to half of the EU’s total GHG emissions, the EU ETS is the first and largest international trading system in the world, and it extends to power plants, combustion plants, petroleum refineries, and iron and steel production, among others. More

South Sudan: A New State is Born
Evarist Baimu

A new sovereign state of South Sudan came into being on July 9, 2011, following a peaceful referendum on its establishment held six months earlier. This article provides an overview of some legal issues raised by the creation of this new state from the perspective of an international organization. More 

Freshwater and International Law - The Multiple Challenges, Platform for International Water Law, University of Geneva, July 7- 9, 2011
Nina Eejima

The conference examined such issues as water conflicts, access to drinking water, deterioration of water quality, and drought management, all of which feature heavily among the priority topics on the international agenda today. Since international law provides principles and norms for the sustainable development and protection of this vital resource, the conference examined how law contributes to effective water resources management. More 



Safeguard Seminars for World Bank Staff

LEGEN will resume its series of Safeguards Seminars on September 15, 2011.  The topic of the September 15th seminar is “Joined by the Hip: The Concepts of Linked/Related/Ancillary/Associated Activities in the Bank's Safeguards Policies?”in MC 8-100 from 3-5 pm.  Registration information for this session and other fall sessions will be sent out shortly.  For more information on LEGEN's Safeguard Seminar Series, please contact Beth Hoffman on 85844 or at












The Environment and International Law Unit of the World Bank’s Legal Vice Presidency (LEGEN) provides advice to the Bank on all environmental and international legal and policy issues related to Bank-financed, implemented and/or supported projects.

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Last updated: 2011-09-06

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