Publications

Working Paper
Olawuyi DS. Detonating the Global Climate Change Time Bomb: The Role of Law. Graduate Students' Conference [Internet]. Working Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Scientists have continued to warn that the world stands the risk of witnessing an abrupt sea level rise, frequency of extreme weather events, the spread of disease and loss of lives as a result of global climate change, if something drastic is not done to stem the emission of green house gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In search of a solution to this, International law has become a handy tool in the hands of governments, policy makers and environmental pundits. Since the 1970s, literally hundreds of international treaties, protocols, conventions, and rules under customary law have been enacted to deal with such problems as global warming, biodiversity loss, and toxic pollution. Proponents of the legal approach to environmental protection believe that if the threats offered by global climate change must be averted, the prominent role of law cannot be downplayed. But skeptics point to ongoing environmental degradation to argue that international law is an ineffective tool for protecting the global environment. This paper reviews the record of international efforts to use law to make our planet more livable. It looks at how law has been used successfully to influence the environmental actions of governments, multinational corporations, and individuals; it also assesses the failures of international law in order to make policy recommendations that could increase the effectiveness of environmental law. It argues that law and legal research in this area have very prominent roles to play in detonating the time bomb called global climate change
ssrn-id984687.pdf
Forthcoming
The Human Rights-Based Approach to Carbon Finance
Olawuyi DS. The Human Rights-Based Approach to Carbon Finance.; Forthcoming.Abstract
This book analyses the topical and contentious issue of the human rights impacts associated with carbon projects, especially in developing countries. It outlines a human rights-based approach to carbon finance as a functional framework for mainstreaming human rights into the design, approval, finance and implementation of carbon projects. It also describes the nature and scope of carbon projects, the available legal options for their financing and the key human rights issues at stake in their planning and execution. Written in a user-friendly style, the proposal for a rights-based due diligence framework through which human rights issues can be anticipated and addressed makes this book relevant to all stakeholders in carbon, energy, and environmental investments and projects.
  • Examines the indirect impact of climate change on human rights, an area which has hitherto not been subject to exhaustive and rigorous exposition and analysis
  • Proposes a legal and institutional framework through which countries can respect and protect human rights and adhere to recent UN treaties, resolutions and declarations
  • Provides practical information on how companies can incorporate human rights due diligence into general corporate risk management processes
2016
Olawuyi DS. Ontario's Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act: Pious Aspirations or New Dawn?. Columbia Law School, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This paper assess Ontario's proposed cap and trade program for effectiveness; comprehensiveness; transparency and fairness; and offset eligibility. It identifies its areas of innovation and strengths, key implementation and logistical questions that may arise, and offers perspectives on how to address such gaps.
ssrn-id2746193.pdf
Olawuyi DS. Climate justice and corporate responsibility: taking human rights seriously in climate actions and projects. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law [Internet]. 2016;34(1):27–44. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Despite growing evidence that projects undertaken to combat climate change currently produce human rights concerns, legal and institutional frameworks for addressing such impacts have not been exhaustively explored and communicated. A 2014 report of the International Bar Association (IBA), Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption, takes a commendable step in filling this gap. It puts forward a functional rights-based risk management approach, through which corporations can be mandated to protect, respect and fulfil human rights in the execution of climate actions and projects. This article evaluates the key contributions of the IBA report to debates on the legal obligations of private actors to integrate human rights principles into the design, financing and implementation of climate projects. The article also considers practical and logistical concerns that must be clarified and addressed to further enhance the utility and relevance of the IBA proposal on corporate risk management in climate actions. Keywords: climate justice; corporate social responsibility; CDM; REDD+; human rights
climate_justice_and_corporate_responsibility_taking_human_rights_seriously_in_climate_actions_and_projects.pdf
2015
Olawuyi DS. Legal Strategies and Tools for Mitigating Legal Risks Associated with Oil and Gas Investments in Africa. OPEC Energy Review [Internet]. 2015;39(9):247-265. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Africa provides unique opportunities for international oil and gas companies to spearhead oil exploration and production in emerging markets, and to acquire interests in fields with unexplored economic potentials. Despite these investment opportunities, entrants into oil and gas markets in Africa often face legal risks that pose monumental threats to the economic viability of oil and gas investments. These include resource nationalism; lopsided contractual provisions in oil production contracts that confer unfair advantages on national oil companies; arbitrary change in contract terms; delays in operational approvals, complex local content requirements and high corruption potentials, among others. If not properly considered and managed, these risks may reduce the positive economic prospects and gains in a hitherto profitable investment enterprise; they may also frustrate a first time investor. While these legal risks have been perceived as disincentives to oil and gas investments in Africa, this paper takes the view that these risks do not call for surrender, rather they could be efficiently managed at contract negotiation phases. This paper draws examples from key resource‐based African countries to provide an overview of the commonly encountered legal risk points in African oil and gas investments. The paper provides suggestions on how to effectively deal with these risks as early as possible through extensive due diligence and diligent contract negotiations.
Olawuyi DS. Fostering Accountability in Large-Scale Environmental Projects: Lessons from CDM and REDD+ Projects. The World Bank Legal Review [Internet]. 2015;6:127 - 147. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Analyzes how human rights infringements can, and do, occur in the design, delivery, and implementation of environmental projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol and projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increasing the sustainable management of forests, conservation of forest carbon stocks, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Gaps in existing multilateral governance and accountability mechanisms that oversee and impact such projects result in inadequate safeguards of the social, cultural, and economic rights of peoples affected by those projects. To be effective, accountability frameworks require project planners and authorities to demonstrate that the substantive and procedural human rights of the public, such as access to information, participation, and access to justice, have been considered, and that structural conditions ensuring that these rights are protected, respected, and fulfilled have been put in place before the project is approved.
Damilola DS. Legal Strategies and Tools for Mitigating Legal Risks Associated with Oil and Gas Investments in Africa. OPEC Energy Review [Internet]. 2015;39(3):247-265. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Africa provides unique opportunities for international oil and gas companies to spearhead oil exploration and production in emerging markets, and to acquire interests in fields with unexplored economic potentials. Despite these investment opportunities, entrants into oil and gas markets in Africa often face legal risks that pose monumental threats to the economic viability of oil and gas investments. These include resource nationalism; lopsided contractual provisions in oil production contracts that confer unfair advantages on national oil companies; arbitrary change in contract terms; delays in operational approvals, complex local content requirements and high corruption potentials, among others. If not properly considered and managed, these risks may reduce the positive economic prospects and gains in a hitherto profitable investment enterprise; they may also frustrate a first time investor. While these legal risks have been perceived as disincentives to oil and gas investments in Africa, this paper takes the view that these risks do not call for surrender, rather they could be efficiently managed at contract negotiation phases. This paper draws examples from key resource‐based African countries to provide an overview of the commonly encountered legal risk points in African oil and gas investments. The paper provides suggestions on how to effectively deal with these risks as early as possible through extensive due diligence and diligent contract negotiations.
Olawuyi DS. Proposal for a Climate Compensation Mechanism for Small Island States: Response to Maxine Burkett. Santa Clara Journal of International Law [Internet]. 2015;13(3). Publisher's VersionAbstract
In the article titled Rehabilitation: A Proposal for a Climate Compensation Mechanismfor Small Island States, Professor Maxine Burkett exhaustively unpacks someof the most fundamental climate-induced slow-onset events and concerns facing theAlliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Burkett proposes a compensation and rehabilitationmechanism to address damage and loss to small island states due toslow-onset events. Using Caribbean AOSIS states as primary examples, Burkett’sinsightful paper provides a thorough and sustained argument on the rationale for acompensation and rehabilitation mechanism as well as a framework for implementingsuch mechanism at the international level.This response paper examines the potential and paradoxes of the compensation andrehabilitation proposal, with a focus on some practical questions that a Compensationand Rehabilitation Commission (CRC) may face along the way. It starts byproviding further statistics on the dual vulnerabilities of AOSIS states in Africathat lend credence to Burkett’s arguments that the vulnerabilities of many AOSISstates call for global responses that go beyond disaster risk reduction and managementand risk transfer, to focus more on providing a robust package of compensationand rehabilitation through a CRC. It then discusses four key practical questionsthat must be further examined to fine-tune the CRC proposal. They areepistemic questions, floodgate question, institutional proliferation, and accountabilityquestions.
viewcontent.pdf
2014
Olawuyi DS. Hydraulic Fracturing Technology and Shale Gas Production in Nigeria: Legal and Sustainability Assessment. Petroleum Technology Development Journal. 2014;2 .Abstract
Recent technological developments of hydraulic fracturing in natural gas production from shale formations in the United States and in many parts of Europe have resulted in increased calls for the exploration and production of unconventional oil and gas resources in Nigeria and other African markets. While the United States and other European countries have cashed in on this shale gas revolution, Nigeria remains one of the countries with little or no activity with regards to shale gas production. This is a worrisome trend to many commentators who argue that Nigeria must not be left behind in the shale gas boom. One question not explored however is whether Nigeria is truly ready in terms of legal and regulatory frameworks, for shale gas production. While a lot have been said about how shale production through hydraulic fracking could result in energy security, increased financial activities, income diversification, investments in priority sectors, and generation of local employment opportunities in Nigeria. None of these studies have provided in-depth examinations of the overall long-term costs of hydraulic fracking to the Nigerian environment, human health, water resources, and to life expectancy. This paper provides a legal and sustainability assessment of the hydraulic fracking technology and its potentials in Nigeria. The paper adopts a comparative approach that draws on experiences from countries such as Canada and the United States where the technology has been profoundly utilized to analyze its sustainability potentials, paradoxes and challenges. The paper then proposes a legal framework built on the theory of sustainable development, through which the environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracking could be anticipated and addressed in Nigeria. Key words: Sustainable Development; Unconventional oil; Shale gas; hydraulic fracking
olawuyi_hydraulic_fracturing_tech.pdf
Olawuyi DS. Recognizing the Intersections between Human Rights and the Environment in Legal Education and Training. Asian Journal of Legal Education [Internet]. 2014;1:103-113. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Ever since the 1972 Stockholm Declaration proclaimed that man’s natural and man-made environment are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of his basic human rights—especially the right to life itself—there has been a consensus amongst scholars that there is a link between the environment and human rights; that a clean environment is a sine qua non for the enjoyment of other human rights; and that without a clean environment, humankind may not live to enjoy the other recognized forms of rights such as the right to life and the right to education. Despite this consensus, however, the human rights and environmental epistemic communities continue to operate largely as strange bedfellows. This is largely due to the perception, and most times the reality, that environmental administrators may lack the required training and skills to interpret, apply and mainstream human rights instruments and vice versa. This article discusses the reasons for this dichotomy. Principally, this persisting gap between both epistemic communities can be traced to a lack of a holistic education and training that introduces administrators on both sides of the divide to key instruments, resources, materials and training needed to holistically apply both instruments. This article discusses the need to reflect the synergies between both divergent and convergent areas of law in teaching and research. As the world becomes ever more aware of how lack of environmental protection could threaten the enjoyment of human rights, there is a need to provide adequate education and training to law students in order to adequately prepare them to mainstream and apply environmental rights in their future careers. This article proposes and describes a specialized ‘human rights and environment seminar’ as an example of a course that could be introduced into the legal curriculum to further identify the cross-cutting linkages between environmental law, international law and human rights law. A draft curriculum on the content and nature of this seminar is proposed and discussed.
2011
Olawuyi DS. Adopting the Language of Rights for Environmental Protection: Legal and Theoretical Justifications. Oxford Student Legal Studies [Internet]. 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract
One of the current debates in public international law is the question of whether to treat environmental violations as human rights violations. These debates have been developed in a fragmented manner by different scholars, theorists and thinkers in the field of public international law. This paper takes the analysis further; it reviews, analyses and responds to the legal and theoretical debates surrounding the proposals for the creation and recognition of a substantive environmental right under international law. It considers the questions ‘why do we need an environmental right under international law and can environmental protection be rightly classified as a human right concern?’ The debates are explored under two headings: the proliferation debate (the new right will lead to a proliferation and devaluation of the human rights currency); and the redundancy debate (the new right will be redundant as environmental concerns are already indirectly covered by existing human rights treaties, common law remedies and environmental agreements). This paper develops a case for substantive environmental rights under international law. It argues that creating an environmental right under international law could be an effective way to recognize the vital character of a clean environment to human existence. It could also be a good way to offer a more coordinated, detailed and well documented approach for dealing with the linkages between environmental and human rights, as opposed to the fragmented approaches adopted across national and regional levels that have not fostered a broad understanding of the linkages. This paper also highlights the main issues that still need considerable thought if this recognition is to be achieved under international law.
ssrn-id1947545.pdf
2007
Olawuyi DS. The Emergence of International Environmental Law on Chemicals - An Appraisal of the Role of Soft Law. International Environmental Law [Internet]. 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Since 1988 when the world first witnessed the menacing effects of the large scale dumping of toxic wastes in developing countries, several treaties, protocols and declarations have been released at regional and international levels to combat the effects of chemicals and their disposal across borders. This has led to a phenomenal growth in the body of laws governing the transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous chemicals. The important role of soft law in this evolution cannot be sidelined. This paper shows that soft law, though largely made up non binding declarations and pronouncements served as a useful tool, in establishing standards of behavior, in promoting sustainable policies and laying the proper foundation that ultimately led to the adoption different environmental treaties like the Basel Convention, Bamako Conventions, The Rotterdam (PIC) Convention and Stockholm (POPs) Convention amongst others. This paper offers an historical analysis of the international events that led to the development of International Environmental Law as it pertains to chemicals and the important roles of soft law in the evolution of these treaties and protocols.
ssrn-id996430.pdf
2006
Olawuyi DS. Enlisting Carbondioxide Capture and Storage as a Clean Development Mechanism Project: Legal and Regulatory Issues Considered. [Internet]. 2006. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol provides an incentive for governments and companies in industrialized countries to invest in Green House Gases (GHG) reductions projects in developing countries and be credited for GHG reduction achieved through these projects through the issuance of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage technology has been identified as one of such viable projects that can be carried out by industrialized nations for CERs as it offers high GHG mitigation potential. Of concern, however, is the lack of a clear, defined legal and regulatory framework which addresses some of the technical concerns associated with the CCS technology like leakage, permanence, boundary issues, and allocation of liabilities among others. This paper shows that there is an urgent need for a legal framework which addresses these technical concerns, if CCS is to be enlisted as a CDM compatible project.
ssrn-id999508.pdf