71 MEP called the EU to leave the Energy Charter Treaty after 4 unsuccessfull negotiation rounds, a proposal from the European Commission that falls short for what is needed to stay in line with the Paris Agreement, and a risk of prolonging those discussions without satisfactory results.
The German Company RWE has filed a lawsuit against the Netherlands, seeking compensation for over 1.4 billion €. This follows the Dutch 'coal-law' from 2019 and the decision to phase-out electricity production from coal by 2030. The company invokes the Energy Charter Treaty.
Citizen's mobilization is growing: a petition asking the EU to pull out from the ECT collected over 1 million signatures in just a few weeks.
The independent journalist group Investigate Europe has revealed how the Energy Charter Treaty is undermining the achievement of climate goals and the energy transition as a whole. The fossil fuel infrastructure protected by the ECT in the European Union, the UK and Switzerland amounts to €344.6 billion, more than twice the EU's total annual budget. And three quarters of the protected investment is in gas and oil, and pipelines.
Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, took a bold move by asking to make the Energy Charter Treaty compatible with the Paris Agreement, or for the EU to collectively withdraw.
A few days later, the French Minister for the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, alongside the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, the State Secretary for European Affairs Clément Beaune, and the Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester, joined their voices in a letter addressed to the European Commission, asking to either modernize the ECT by making it compatible with the Paris Agreement, or to withdraw in a coordinated manner. This letter has been published in the media in January 2021.
Ahead of the Energy Charter Conference, Dr. Yamina Saheb, a senior climate and energy policy analyst at OpenExp, a Paris-based think tank, and a former head of the Energy Efficiency Unit at the Energy Charter Secretariat, calls on to EU leaders to be up to the task and to work on the collective withdrawal of the Energy Charter Treaty.
Today, more than 200 climate leaders and scientists signed an open letter calling governments to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which protects foreign investments in fossil fuels and obstructs the transition to clean energy.
For the first time ever, the Commission publicly stated that withdrawal from the ECT is an option, if the reform fails.
This means consensus is gaining and we need to strengthen these voices by building public pressure from the outside.
In October 2020, the European Parliament adopted an amendment in the European climate law which states "The Union shall end protection of investments in fossil fuels in the context of the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty..."