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Joint letter: Energy Ministers must support a coordinated withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty

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Imagen tomada de No a los TCI

10 July 2023

Joint letter: Energy Ministers must support a coordinated withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty

Dear Energy Ministers,

We are writing to you ahead of the informal meeting of Energy Ministers that will take place
on the 12th of July. We call on you to support the Commission’s proposal for a coordinated
withdrawal of the EU and all its member states from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and
welcome a discussion of the ECT among energy ministers.

The ECT is a major obstacle to the EU’s energy sovereignty and climate neutrality goals. It is
also against the EU’s investment policy and EU law. The modernisation process has failed to
address the structural problems of the ECT and to align it with the Paris Agreement. This
assessment is shared by the independent French High Council on Climate and the British
Climate Change Committee.

A coordinated withdrawal of the EU and all its member states will provide the legal clarity
and certainty to accelerate the EU’s energy transition away from fossil fuels. It is also the
safest option and the only one that can significantly reduce the risks of claims against our
energy and climate policies, by enabling the EU and its member states to remove the ‘sunset
clause’ between themselves. Both the European Commission and the European Parliament
support a coordinated withdrawal.

On the other hand, a split EU membership of the ECT would fragment the single market and
undermine the EU’s external representation, particularly in energy and climate issues. It will
also expose remaining member states to the risk of being sued under the ECT for actions
undertaken by the Union. Countries that remain in the ECT will also need to
bear the costs of internal coordination and financing the ECT’s Secretariat.1

The decision to leave the ECT has dragged on for too long. It is now time for the Council of
the EU to show leadership. The Energy Charter Treaty is not fit for purpose and will remain a
barrier to EU climate and energy goals unless the EU and all its member states jointly
withdraw from it.

We call on your leadership to finally put an end to this process and support a coordinated EU
withdrawal from the ECT.

Yours sincerely,

Nicolò Wojewoda, Europe Regional Director,
Wilhelm Zwirner, CEO, Attac Austria
Nikki Reisch, Climate & Energy Program Director, Center for International Environmental
Law (CIEL)
Anaïs Berthier, Head of Brussels Office, ClientEarth
Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network Europe
Arnaud Zacharie, Secretary General, CNCD-11.11.11
Karin Debroey, Advisor International Department, CSC
Manon Dufour, Head of Brussels Office, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G)
Luis Rico, Coordinator, Ecologistas en Acción
Renaud Vivien, Head of Policy, Entraide et Fraternité
Fabian Holzheid, Political Director, Environmental Institute Munich
Patrick ten Brink, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau
Juan Carlos Benito Sanchez, Coordinator, Centre d’Appui SocialEnergie, Fédération des
Services Sociaux
Jagoda Munic, Director, Friends of the Earth Europe
Ludwig Essig, Coordinator, Netzwerk Gerechter Welthandel
Tine Laufer, Managing Director, PowerShift e.V.
Leah Sullivan, Coordinator, Seattle to Brussels Network/European Trade Justice Coalition
Audrey Gaughran, Executive Director, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations
Fiona Dove, Director, Transnational Institute (TNI)
William Todts, Executive Director, Transport & Environment
Ana Moreno, coordinator, TROCA - Plataforma por um Comércio Internacional Justo
Brian Cuthbert, Campaigns Director, Uplift
Mathilde Dupré, Co-Director, Veblen Institute
Francisco Ferreira, President, ZERO – Association for the Earth Sustainability
Maxime Combes, economist Aitec, co-facilitator of the French platform against FTAs & BITs

 source: CAN Europe