Climate Regulation of the Electricity Industry: A Comparative View From Australia, Great Britain, South Korea, and the United States

Lincoln L. Davies, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah
Penelope Crossley, The University of Sydney Law School
Peter Connor, University of Exeter
Siwon Park, Kangwon National University School of Law
Shelby Shaw-Hughes, University of Utah, SJ Quinney College of Law


Climate regulation of the electricity sector is one of the most important growing — and rapidly changing — areas of law and policy today. This is both because of the critical role that electricity plays in modern society, acting as economic lifeblood, and because of electricity’s part in driving climate change, accounting for more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally than any other activity. This article provides an introduction to different methods of regulating climate emissions from the electricity sector. It does so through detailed, comparative accounts of climate regulation of electricity in four different jurisdictions: Australia, Great Britain, South Korea, and the United States. For each jurisdiction, the article provides a primer on the nation’s electricity sector, its different policy tools for regulating GHG emissions from the sector, and the influence of those regulations in reshaping the provision of electricity in the jurisdiction. A concluding analysis section identifies key lessons learned to date about climate regulation of electricity globally.