Europe proposes mass exit from energy treaty

(Climate Home News, 8 Feb 2023) The European Commission has told member countries that a joint EU exit from a controversial international energy treaty appears inevitable, according to a document seen by Reuters, with some of them already announcing they would leave the accord over climate concerns.

The 1998 Energy Charter Treaty, which has around 50 signatories including European Union countries, was designed to protect companies in the energy industry by allowing them to sue governments on policies affecting their investments.

But in recent years it has been used to challenge policies that require fossil fuel plants to shut – raising concerns that it is an obstacle to addressing climate change.

France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain have already announced plans to quit the treaty, increasing pressure on Brussels to coordinate an EU-wide withdrawal.

In a document shared with EU countries and seen by Reuters, the European Commission said the “most adequate” option would be for the EU and its 27 member states to leave.

“A withdrawal of the EU and Euratom from the Energy Charter Treaty appears to be unavoidable,” the document said.

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Climate Home News, 8 Feb 2023: Europe proposes mass exit from energy treaty