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Parliamentary questions
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17 July 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Silvia Modig (GUE/NGL)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Termination of the Energy Charter Treaty

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) from the 1990s is designed to protect investment in areas such as the search for energy sources, and energy extraction, refinement, storage and transport. It has more than 50 signatories, including all of the EU Member States. The ECT lawfully protects investment in energy in all these countries; it does not distinguish between the forms of energy production and thus benefits energy production from fossil fuels.

A total of 70% of the energy produced in the EU is from non-renewable sources, and some of the other Treaty signatories, such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, are among the world’s biggest producers of fossil fuels.

The ECT protects fossil fuels, despite the fact that they are significantly aggravating the climate crisis. It encourages the continued operation of the polluting power plants that already exist. It could also promote new fossil fuel projects in the development stage as it protects investment at the prospecting stage.

The ECT’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism allows investors to bring a claim against states if they believe that a statute or a court decision could affect their financial interests.

It is estimated that activities in the fossil fuel sector protected by the ECT produced 87 gigatonnes of CO2 in the period 1998-2019 and they are expected to result in a further 129 gigatonnes of emissions by 2050. The Treaty has no targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or for resolving the climate crisis.

This is totally inconsistent with the ‘climate-neutral’ target for 2050 and the Paris Agreement.

1. What steps does the Commission intend to take to scrap the ECT rather than modernise it?

2. How will the Commission ensure that the content of the Treaty is in line with the European Union’s climate-neutral target for 2050 and the Paris Agreement?

3. What does the Commission intend to do to ensure that the talks on the ECT are open and transparent?

Original language of question: FI
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