Photo: Karen Paalman/SOMO

Urgenda, SOMO, Greenpeace, the Dutch labour union FNV and eight other organisations are appealing urgently to the Dutch government to “join as many countries as possible in stepping out of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)”. The ECT is currently a major hurdle to achieving the Paris climate goals because it protects the existing interests of multinationals to such an extent that governments could face multi-million-dollar claims if they take climate action.

On 25 October, EU member states will decide whether to agree to modernize the treaty text.  The aim of this modernisation is to bring the ECT in line with the Paris Agreement. In reality, however, the adjustments are an extension of companies’ rights and will potentially protect investments in fossil fuel until 2040.

Recently, British company Rockhopper won a claim under the ECT against Italy. The proceedings were prompted by Italy’s decision to stop allowing oil and gas drilling off its coast. Rockhopper subsequently initiated proceedings under the ECT. Italy must now compensate Rockhopper for €240 million, an amount eight times as high as Rockhopper’s original investment off the Italian coast. The company will use the money to develop an oil project near the Falkland Islands.

Read the whole article on our Dutch website.