The European Commission is asking to remove the modernization of the international agreement Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) from the agenda of the ECT summit, which since 1998 has promoted oil and gas investments in the former Soviet bloc.
The European Commission recognized that the ECT is incompatible with the Paris climate agreement, has contradictory provisions on the regulation of relations between the investor and the state and needs to be reformed or canceled, reports EURACTIV.
The article explained that the EU member states failed to reach an agreement, because France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain abstained from voting on the proposed reform of the ECT.
The authors noted that in 2021, German energy giant RWE used the Treaty to file a €1.4 billion compensation claim against the Netherlands over the country's planned coal phase-out.
In 2019, negotiations on the reform of the ECT began with 53 signatories.
"This process ended in June, when the Commission announced a breakthrough in the reform negotiations and presented an amended text of the agreement, which included provisions to end legal protections for new fossil fuel projects and a ten-year phase-out of existing investments," the article says.
However, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Spain have announced their intention to withdraw from the treaty, citing the charter's incompatibility with the EU's climate goals, which require a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels.
The material noted that The European Commission is a strong supporter of the reform, saying the modernized deal includes provisions to end legal protections for new fossil fuel investments and addresses concerns about the right of governments to regulate environmental and climate needs. In addition, the EU executive emphasized that the 20-year sunset clause would come into effect immediately after countries withdraw from the treaty, meaning that fossil fuel investments would in any case continue to enjoy legal protection during that period.
As EcoPolitic reported before, four ecological groups filed a lawsuit against the European Commission due to the adoption of a controversial law on the inclusion of fossil gas in the list of sustainable investments of the EU.