Summary title: Petition No 0989/2020 by Yamina Saheb (French) on the need to include measures in European Union environmental legislation to put an end to the protection of foreign investment in fossil fuels
Petition number: 0989/2020
Country: European Union
Name: Yamina Saheb
The petitioner points out that the EU and its Member States have been party to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) since 1998, which protects foreign investments in fossil fuels through private arbitration. The petitioner considers that, in practice, those making profits from fossil fuels can use the parallel justice system of private arbitration to seek very high compensation for changes in legislation that may affect the ‘legitimate’ expectations of foreign investors. The petitioner alleges that the ECT runs counter to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by allowing such disputes within the EU, while increasing the cost of climate action and energy transition. EU taxpayers are the main victims of the ECT. The current format of the Energy Charter Treaty is designed as a vehicle for the fossil fuel lobby to protect this industry. The petitioner believes that the EU and the Member States should take their climate neutrality commitments seriously and act accordingly. The proposed EU Climate Law should be amended to include provisions to end the protection of foreign investments in fossil fuels.