Netherlands follows Spain in quitting Energy Charter Treaty

(EurActiv, 19 Oct 2022) The Netherlands will pull out of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which has come under fire for protecting investments in the oil and gas sector, the country’s energy ministry said on Wednesday (19 October).

Note: this article was updated on 20 October 2022 with a reaction from the European Commission.

In force since 1998, the treaty, which has more than 50 signatories including the European Union, allows investors to sue governments over policies that jeopardise their investments.

But in recent years it has been used by fossil fuel and renewable energy companies to sue governments for regulatory changes that threaten returns on specific investments.

In announcing the decision, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten told parliament that the treaty is not in line with the Paris climate accord and that efforts to re-negotiate it have been unsuccessful.

“The mandate for the European Commission was to bring the ECT in line with the Paris climate agreement. Despite many of the modernisations that are now in the negotiation outcome, we do not see how the ECT has been sufficiently aligned with the Paris Agreement,” Jetten told the Dutch parliament on Tuesday.

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EurActiv, 19 Oct 2022: Netherlands follows Spain in quitting Energy Charter Treaty