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The Renewable Revolution’s $3 Trillion Problem

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Renewable energy developments are advancing…

EU Moves Closer To Exiting Energy Investment Pact

The European Union is going ahead with plans to leave the Energy Charter Treaty, which climate activists have slammed as playing for the hydrocarbons team.

The Financial Times reports that the European Commission is later today set to propose a joint exit from the Treaty, after several individual member states quit over expensive court settlements with oil and gas companies.

The Energy Charter Treaty, set up in 1994, aimed to protect investments in energy across borders. Lately, it has emerged, in the eyes of some EU members, as a tool of the hydrocarbons industry to fight governments’ emission reduction plans. Also, because it protects the interests of the oil and gas industry, many in the EU see the ECT as simply inappropriate.

“France has decided to withdraw from the treaty, which was an important step demanded by many and that we have been working towards,” President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this year, noting that membership in the ECT was incompatible with “cutting carbon emissions through 2030 as called for in the Paris accords.”

Italy has already pulled out of the treaty although it is still bound by a so-called sunset clause. Germany has also announced plans for withdrawal from the ECT, due to take effect this December, and Poland will exit the treaty at the end of this year, too.

At the same time, however, the ECT protects the interests of wind and solar developers, the FT noted in its report. It went on to cite several claims made by solar power developers to the Spanish government, seeking compensation to the tune of $70 billion for losses suffered when the government changed its rules on feed-in tariffs.

If the whole EU exits the Energy Charter Treaty, then, besides oil and gas companies, wind and solar companies will also lose the protection offered by the deal.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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