Europe’s got a dirty secret.
It could kill the Paris Climate Agreement, and even block EU countries from implementing a Green New Deal.
A piece of paper signed 25 years ago gives big oil, gas, and coal companies the power to sue entire countries for billions over laws that damage their profits. And right now, they’re using that power to block a green energy transition and accelerate climate chaos.
The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) can be used to challenge oil drilling bans, the rejection of gas pipelines and taxes on fossil fuels. And it works. Governments are forced either to relax their clean energy laws, or pay eye-watering sums of money in compensation to fossil fuel companies.
Tell EU member states to pull out of the Energy Charter Treaty!
Citizens all over the EU want a Green New Deal. But that’ll only happen if we rip up this unfair agreement and stop letting fossil fuel corporations boss us around. Italy already did it. Now, the rest of Europe has to follow suit.
The number of lawsuits under the ECT -- which take place not in normal courts, but in closed-door tribunals -- has exploded in recent years. There have been over 83 cases in the past six years alone, and the majority have been decided or settled in favour of dirty energy corporations. This so-called "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) regime must end.
Take the multinational Vattenfall, which was able to relax environmental restrictions on one of its coal plants by suing Germany for €1.4 billion. Or Germany’s own Uniper, which is threatening the Netherlands with a massive lawsuit if it goes ahead with a coal ban.
But we’ve got a chance to strike back. All over the continent, people like you and me are pushing our governments to take action against the dirty fossil fuel industry. We’ve made climate change a major issue in recent elections and staged millions-strong climate strikes.
Now, we need to use that same people power to end the Energy Charter Treaty -- because if we don’t, we’ll soon be back at square one.
There’s no time to waste -- tell EU governments to stop the fossil fuel industry’s bullying and pull out of the Energy Charter Treaty.