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Should the UK Government withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty? Expert comment.

Dr Tom Pettinger of the Department of Politics and International Studies sets out the arguments for withdrawing from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), an international energy agreement signed in 1994 and drafted to protect and promote the interests of European energy companies as they began to invest in former Soviet republics:

"Despite being little-known, the Energy Charter Treaty has been labelled “the biggest threat” to the Paris Agreement.

"Adopted in the 1990s and signed by over 50 countries, the ECT protects the interests of energy companies by allowing them to sue governments if their profits might be compromised by those governments’ decisions.

"In other words, taxpayers around the world are footing huge bills to ensure fossil fuel companies don’t lose out where green policies are adopted.

"Successful arbitration claims tally a massive $57bn to date, and claims are only escalating.

"With climate change already imposing untold suffering around the world, and with talk of civilizational collapse from the most prominent scientists becoming more and more common, this taxpayer subsidisation for the world's dirtiest companies should end."

  • Read Dr Pettinger's briefing paper, which has been sent to Parliamentarians and members of the devolved administrations, here.

15 December 2021

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