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 Full text 
Thursday, 22 October 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Aligning the Energy Charta Treaty with the European Green Deal (debate)

  Kathleen Van Brempt, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, let me be quite clear, crystal clear, the Energy Charter Treaty is not in line with the Green Deal. It’s an instrument of the past, it’s even an instrument of a former decade.

Favouring large fossil fuel companies over the environment is not the way forward. It’s not adapted to the current reality, and not to our climate ambitions.

As has been stated also in the former debate, there’s a fundamental reform necessary in our energy system and we will not succeed doing that if the ECT continues to protect fossil fuel investments.

Moreover, and that is very interesting and very frightening to see, that it is expected that more cases targeting climate policies will arise, once Member States start to implement the commitments that they have made in line with the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, and that is unacceptable.

So we need a fundamental reform of the ECT. This will not be easy, as for instance, Japan already stated that it is not in favour of a fundamental reform. I want to be also crystal clear on what the next step should be, that if it is not possible to have a fundamental reform, I think it’s absolutely necessary that the EU prepares itself to withdraw from the ECT.

We’ve made that clear also in a former debate, and in a former a vote on the climate law, where we clearly made a statement on the ECT.

So my question to the Commission is very simple. The Commissioner thinks it is possible to align the ECT with the Green Deal. I do not doubt the good intentions that the Commissioner has, and the Commission overall, but I do doubt that we have the good partners in place to make that reform possible: will you be able and ready to withdraw from the treaty the moment that you see there is no possibility for a good reform?

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