The authors explore two concepts that they believe will help improve our understandings of international energy law.

One is the traditional, thinner concept: the international law on energy. It is structural-descriptive, and it comprises those general rules of the established branches of international law that also apply to energy. By contrast, the novel, thicker concept, the international law of energy, is evaluative. It is hence dependent on norms that define a body of international law dedicated to energy.

The authors suggest substituting the thicker, evaluative concept – the international law of energy – for the thinner international law on energy. Therefore, international lawyers ought to refer to this international law of energy in order to meaningfully speak about the current and future international regulation of the field of energy.