Senior research fellow, World Trade Institute; Member of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Programme in Trade Regulation
Email address: Ilaria.Espa (at) wti.org
Ilaria Espa is a senior research fellow at the World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern, and a Member of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Programme in Trade Regulation. In particular, she is part of the NCCR Work Package on ‘Energy, Trade and Climate Change’. She joined the Institute back in 2013 as a Marie Curie postdoctoral researcher in the framework of the EU FP7 COFIT Programme with a project on ‘New Disciplines for Energy Related Export Restrictions’. She has also been recently appointed as the new Scientific Coordinator of the WTI Doctoral Programme.
A PhD in International Law and Economics from Bocconi University (summa cum laude), Ilaria specialises in International Economic Law, International and European Energy Law and Policy, Natural Resources Management and Climate Change. Her research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals and in 2012 she received the SIDI (Italian Society of International Law) prize awarded to a younger author for meritorious scholarship published in Revue Internationale de Droit Économique. She is the author of a monograph on Export Restrictions on Critical Minerals and Metals: Testing the Adequacy of WTO Disciplines (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the co-editor, together with Professor Thomas Cottier, of the volume on International Trade in Sustainable Electricity: Regulatory Challenges in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). She organized the 2014 World Trade Forum on the topic of ‘International Trade in Electricity and the Greening Economy’.
Ilaria serves as a Member and Contributor of the Expert Group on ‘Trade and Investment in Extractive Industries’ and the Task Force on ‘Rethinking International Subsidies Disciplines’ of the ICTSD/WEF E15 initiative. She is also a Member of the Committee of the International Law Association (ILA) on ‘Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development’. She was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School in 2012 and a consultant for the Trade and Environment Division of the WTO during 2009-2011. Since 2014, she has acted as consultant to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and other Swiss governmental agencies and economic associations on issues related to trade in electricity and differential electricity taxation.
Her research interests include international trade in commodities (with a focus on hard commodities), rules and practices of international law for the sustainable management of natural resources (particularly extractive resources), the treatment of energy trade and investment in PTAs, the regulatory challenges posed by the proliferation of clean energy subsidies and other transitional climate-driven trade policy instruments designed to promote renewable energy sources, and legal aspects of cross-border electricity trade with a focus on green electricity.
T. Cottier and I. Espa (eds.), International Trade in Sustainable Electricity: Regulatory Challenges in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, expected publication Fall 2016).
‘Building Cooperation with BRICS: From Solar Panel Wars to TTIP-led Energy Regulatory Consensus’ (with K. Holzer), Journal of World Investment and Trade (forthcoming)
‘No Iceberg in Sight. On the Absence of Potential and Actual WTO Disputes Against Fossil Fuel Subsidies’ (with D. De Bièvre and A. Poletti), International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics (forthcoming)
‘Negotiating an Energy Deal Under TTIP: Drivers and Impediments to US Shale Exports to Europe’ (with K. Holzer), 43 Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 4 (2015), at 357-377
‘Fair Access to Energy Resources, Market Transfers and Climate Change in the WTO’, 29 Diritto del Commercio Internazionale 1 (2015), at 203-223
‘Action pour le climat et mesures commerciales unilatérales: les initiatives les plus récentes de l’Union européenne’, 12 Revue Internationale de Droit Economique 3 (2012), at 295-320
‘The Appellate Body Approach to the Applicability of Article XX GATT in Light of China – Raw Materials: A Missed Opportunity?’, 46 Journal of World Trade 6 (2012), at 1399-142
‘Natural Resource Protection in the WTO Legal System’, in S. Alam, J. Rozzaque, J. Bhuiyan (eds.), Natural Resources Law, Investment and Sustainability (Routledge: London, expected publication Fall 2016)
‘Good Governance in The Energy Sector, Climate Change Implications and China: The Case of Export Restrictions’, in P. Farah (ed.), China and the Good Governance of the Markets (Routledge: London, expected publication Fall 2016)
‘The Treatment of Restrictions and Financial Charges on Imports and Exports of Electricity under EU and WTO law’, in T. Cottier and I. Espa (eds.), International Trade in Sustainable Electricity: Regulatory Challenges in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, expected publication Fall 2016)
‘Promoting Green Electricity through Differentiated Electricity Tax Schemes’ (with K. Holzer and T. Payosova), in T. Cottier and I. Espa (eds.), International Trade in Sustainable Electricity: Regulatory Challenges in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, expected publication Fall 2016)
‘The Role of WTO in Addressing Regulatory Pricing Policies in the Energy Sector’, in P. Pazartzis and M. Gavouneli, Reconceptualising the Rule of Law in Global Governance, Resources, Investment and Trade (Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2016), at 391-404
‘Energy Export Restrictions in the WTO between Resource Nationalism and Sustainable Development’, in F. Seatzu, A. Bonfanti and F. Romanin Jacur (eds.), (Brill: Leiden, 2015), at 361-379
Export Restrictions in Relation to Extractive Industries, E15 Initiative. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and World Economic Forum, 2015.
‘Energy Subsidies from a Climate and Trade Perspective’ (with S. E. Rolland), BioRes, Volume 9, Number 6, 20 July 2015. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
Subsidies, Clean Energy and Climate Change (with S. E. Rolland), E15 Initiative. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and World Economic Forum, 2015. .
Cottier, I. Espa, K. Holzer and K. Gudas, ‘The Legal Framework for Long-Distance HVDC Sub-marine Power Lines in International and European Law: A Legal Feasibility Study of the Nordur Project’, Legal Opinion for the Nordur Grid Association, 29 December 2015;
Cottier, I. Espa and K. Holzer, ‘Renewable Electricity Tax Exemption Scheme and Legally Available Instruments of Addressing Domestic Competitiveness Concerns: An Assessment of Policy Space under WTO law and Swiss-EU FTA’, Legal Opinion for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), 8 March 2015;
Cottier, I. Espa and K. Holzer, ‘Implementing a Differentiated Electricity Tax Through Renewable Energy Certificates’, Legal Opinion submitted to SwissCleantech, 31 October 2014;
Cottier, I. Espa, S. Hirsbrunner, K. Holzer and T. Payosova, ‘CO2 Tax or Tariff on Imported Electricity: Assessing the Compatibility with WTO Law, EU Law and the Swiss-EEC Free Trade Agreement’, Legal Opinion submitted to the Swiss Federal Financial Administration (FFA) and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), 8 August 2014;
Cottier, I. Espa, S. Hirsbrunner, K. Holzer and T. Payosova, ‘Differentiating Energy Tax on Electricity: An assessment of the compatibility with WTO law and EU law’, Legal Opinion submitted to the Swiss Federal Financial Administration (FFA), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), 18 April 2014
Teaching in the field of energy law
Summer 2016 Lecturer, Summer Academy on ‘Making Trade Sustainable: Legal and Policy Challenges’, World Trade Institute, University of Bern (with Dr. Ludivine Tamiotti)
Since 2015/2016 Lecturer, Course in Environmental and Food Law (graduate), Master Programme in Environmental and Food Economics, University of Milan
November 2015 Guest Lecturer, Course in Preparing the Ground for COP21 in Paris: From Climate Sciences to Policy (undergraduate); ‘Climate Change and Energy’, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of Bern (course of Prof. Joelle de Sépibus)
May 2013 Guest Lecturer, Course in Energy Markets (graduate), Master in Green Management, Energy and Corporate Social Responsibility (MaGER): ‘WTO and Energy Markets’, Bocconi University (course of Prof. Federico Pontoni)