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Compensating wealthy fossil fuel corporations through an outdated EU treaty ... thanking Brussels 🥹

EU exit from climate-killing energy treaty looms | DW News |

Denmark joins a spate of EU nations including Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands who are exiting the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), an investment pact weaponized by big emitters to sue governments -- most recently for phasing out fossil fuels.

With the European Commission having stated on February 7 its intention to coordinate a withdrawal of the entire bloc from the archaic pact -- ratified in 1994 to protect energy investments in post-Soviet states -- more countries are expected to join the eight EU members now in revolt. 

EU countries are the target of 90% of ECT disputes. This litigation threat has hamstrung climate policy to the point where the EU can "wave bye-bye to carbon neutrality targets," according to Yamina Saheb, a climate expert and former ECT employee.

When the Netherlands, for example, legislated a 2030 coal-fired power phase-out in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, German energy giants Uniper and RWE sued the government under the treaty.

In the closed-door arbitration court where ECT disputes are settled, RWE demanded €1.4 billion ($1.55 billion) compensation from the Dutch government   -- despite RWE susequently agreeing to its own 2030 coal phase-out in exchange for the right to mine lignite under Lützerath in western Germany. 

That case is ongoing, though Uniper withdrew its claim as part of a bailout agreement with the German government. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 17th, 2023 at 09:52:25 PM EST

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