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Join the movement and sign the petition to #EndFossilProtection

photo : Wickey / CC BY-SA 4.0

Join the movement and sign the petition to #EndFossilProtection

17 February 2021

A petition to “include measures in European Union environmental legislation to put an end to the protection of foreign investment in fossil fuels” is now available for supporters on the European Parliament website.

To sign the petition, you need to first create an account, validate it, then you will be able to sign. Your names and contact details will not be disclosed to anyone.

The European Parliament considered the petition, submitted by Yamina Saheb, the former head of energy efficiency unit at the Energy Charter Secretariat, admissible and asked the European Commission for investigation. The Commission has until March 15th to provide its conclusions.

The aim of the petition is to ensure the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) will no longer be used against EU climate and energy policies.

The ECT is a multilateral agreement, ratified back in the nineties, which protects foreign investment in energy supply by means of private arbitration. 53 countries are party to this treaty, including the EU and its Member States. Italy is the only EU country to have withdrawn (2015). As of today, the ECT was evoked in 136 ISDS claims, out of which more than half are fossil-fuels related.

Read also : Countries serious about climate change should leave the Energy Charter Treaty, says former ECT official

By protecting investment in energy supply without distinguishing between environmentally harmful energy sources and clean ones, the ECT protects investments in greenhouse gas emissions. Estimates show that the continuation of the protection of fossil fuels under the ECT regime would potentially end up with stranded fossil fuels assets of €2.15 trillion and would increase the cost of ISDS to €1.3 trillion by 2050.

The ECT is used against the implementation of climate targets. The last known case is the one of the German utility RWE against the Netherlands for the implementation of the phase out of coal power plants. RWE is asking for more than €1.4 billion compensation. Ironically, the acceleration of the phase-out of coal power plants in Holland comes as more and more Dutch citizens demand to deliver on greenhouse gas emissions reduction (notably, since the legal case brought by the Dutch NGO Urgenda and 900 Dutch citizens).

The adoption of the EU climate law is likely to trigger more ISDS claims against EU countries for the implementation of the climate neutrality target. This is particularly true as the EU proposal to modernise the ECT does not include ending the protection of existing investment in fossil fuels. Instead, the EU proposal suggests extending the protection of existing investment in all fossil fuels until 2030 and for in gas until 2040.

It’s time for citizens’ action ! Join the movement to #EndFossilProtection by signing the petition now !