Luxembourg leads EU push to climate-proof Energy Charter Treaty

(EurActiv, 4 Sep 2019) Luxembourg will push for a deep reform of the Energy Charter Treaty at the EU level in order to align it with global climate objectives, said the country’s energy minister Claude Turmes, who did not rule out scrapping the treaty altogether if reform talks don’t progress fast enough.

EU member states gave the European Commission a mandate last July to revise the Energy Charter Treaty, saying the legally-binding charter – originally signed in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union – must reinstate Europe’s “right to regulate” in areas like climate change and workers’ rights.

But Luxembourg believes the mandate “is not good enough” with regards to climate policy, Turmes told a Brussels audience on Wednesday (4 September).

“The Luxembourg government is now trying to build a coalition of climate-responsible countries” in the European Union to reform the treaty and align it with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, he said, adding the EU should be “much more pro-active” in pushing the reform forward.

“I will again put it on the agenda when we meet on the 24th because I think we need to deepen this mandate,” Turmes said referring to a meeting of EU energy ministers scheduled for 24 September.

“There is a huge responsibility on the new Commission to make this energy charter one of its priorities,” Turmes added, saying the reform was a question of coherence for incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who promised to table a “Green Deal for Europe” during her first 100 days in office.

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EurActiv, 4 Sep 2019: Luxembourg leads EU push to climate-proof Energy Charter Treaty