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Dutch to leave Energy Charter Treaty because of climate change conflict

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DutchNews | 19 October 2022

Dutch to leave Energy Charter Treaty because of climate change conflict

The Netherlands is leaving a controversial energy treaty because it conflicts with Paris climate accord commitments, energy minister Rob Jetten
said during a debate in parliament on Tuesday.

The Energy Charter Treaty, which was agreed in
1994, provides a framework for cross-borderBest Of The Web
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its dispute procedures which can allow energy
firms to sue states and the impact this can have
on efforts to offset climate change.

This means that fossil fuel companies can take
legal action and claim damages against signatory
states because of loss of income and investment.
Recently, Italy was ordered to pay British oil
company Rockhopper €240 million because it had
been stopped from drilling for oil of the coast. The
Dutch state faces a €1.4 billion claim from RWE
because of its plans to phase out coal-fired power
stations, and a similar claim from Uniper.

An alliance of 12 Dutch green groups recently
called on the government to ditch the agreement.
‘It is high time to make corporate interests
subordinate to those of society,’ said Marjan
Minnesma of the Urgenda organisation.

‘The ECT is slowing down the energy transition
needed to protect the ordinary man. Leaving the
treaty is the only way to stop multi million claims
from the fossil fuel industry and biomass power


While some efforts are being made to reform the
ECT, Jetten said they do not go far enough. The
minister said that he hoped all EU countries would
leave the agreement at the same time but if that
did not happen, the Netherlands would go it alone.
Italy, Poland and Spain have already left.

Leaving the ECT will not put an end to potential
law suits because of a ‘sunset clause’ which
allows energy firms to make claims for
investments made up to 20 years ago.

The Netherlands has not yet set a date for its
departure and Jetten has pledged to provide more
information shortly.

 source: DutchNews