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 Full text 
Thursday, 22 October 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

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

  Anna Cavazzini, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, whenever I speak to citizens about the Energy Charter Treaty they are shocked. The Energy Charter Treaty allows investors to bring EU Member States in front of private arbitration panels because those governments want to fulfil the requirements of the Paris Agreement.

The Energy Charter Treaty makes governments pay billions of taxpayers’ money just because they want to fight the climate crisis and implement the Green Deal. And does this sound completely insane? Yes, it does, but it is the truth and the Energy Charter Treaty is the embodiment of a fossil era that has to come to an end. And this is why the reform by the Commission is so overdue and also welcomed.

But I have two major concerns to bring before the Commissioner. First, we need an effective reform. So the Commission must delete fossil fuels from the definition of economic activities and thus end the protection of fossil fuels. And second, we have to face the reality. An effective reform is very unlikely, given the anonymity required. So I urge the Commission to set a clear deadline and prepare for leaving the Treaty. And I know, Madam Commissioner, you will come now with a sunset clause. Yes, the sunset clause is bad; it protects investment for another 20 years if we leave the Energy Charter Treaty now. But better leaving earlier than later. At the very least, we need to end inner EU application and thus eliminate already half of the cases. I count on your support.

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