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‘Obsolete’ Energy Charter Treaty must be reformed or ditched, lawmakers say

(EurActiv, 8 Sep 2020) The 1991 Energy Charter Treaty must be profoundly overhauled in order to remove all “obsolete” provisions protecting fossil fuel investments and hindering climate action, lawmakers from across Europe said on Tuesday (8 September).

A cross-party coalition of Parliamentarians from across the EU issued a joint statement on Tuesday asking for a fundamental rewrite of the little-known Energy Charter Treaty.

The treaty’s initial objective was to shield oil and gas companies from “political risk” when investing in the former communist bloc after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

But it has now become “a serious threat to Europe’s climate neutrality target and more broadly to the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” which binds its 175 signatories to cap global warming at 2°C maximum, the lawmakers argue.

Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions protected by the ECT, since its entry into force in 1998, are equivalent to three times the remaining EU carbon budget for the 2018-2050 period, the lawmakers write, saying the ECT became “obsolete” since Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty in 2009. 

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EurActiv, 8 Sep 2020: ‘Obsolete’ Energy Charter Treaty must be reformed or ditched, lawmakers say