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Webinar

The Energy Charter Treaty Agreement in Principle: Is it climate ready?

This webinar aims to bring leading experts and policy-makers together to discuss topics including the compatibility of the "modernized" Energy Charter Treaty with the Paris Agreement, its extended scope, how the reformed investment protection standards compare to recent treaty practice, and whether a coordinated withdrawal from the treaty remains the preferred policy option.
September 22, 2022 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm CET

(Open to public)

As we advance in the decisive decade to avoid the worst climate impacts, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) continues to draw strong criticism. Initially designed in the 1990s to enable multilateral cooperation in the energy sector, it is the investment treaty that has generated the highest number of investor–state arbitrations, leading to record-breaking damages awards that have cost governments millions of euros.

Amid widespread recognition that the ECT is outdated and constitutes an obstacle to the transition to a low-carbon economy, the treaty's contracting parties started negotiations to "modernize" the treaty. Since this "modernization" process started in July 2020, the ECT Modernization Group has held 15 rounds of negotiations and reached an agreement in principle for the modernization of the treaty on June 24, 2022. If adopted, the text of the agreement will have a major impact on the energy policies of more than 50 countries for decades to come and shape the climate policy of an entire region.

With less than 3 months left before ECT contracting parties put the agreement to a final vote in November 2022, the time had come to assess the implications of the new agreement for climate policy.

This webinar aimed to do so by bringing leading experts and policy-makers together to discuss topics including the compatibility of the "modernized" ECT with the Paris Agreement, its extended scope, how the reformed investment protection standards compare to recent treaty practice, and whether a coordinated withdrawal from the treaty remains the preferred policy option.

Keynote

  • Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Moderators

  • Helionor De Anzizu, Attorney, International Investment and Trade Law, Center for International Environmental Law 
  • Amandine Van den Berghe, Trade and Environment Lawyer, ClientEarth

Speakers

  • Christina Eckes, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, Vice-President, European Renewable Energies Federation
  • Cornelia Maarfield, Senior Trade and Investment Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network Europe
  • Suzy H. Nikièma, Lead, Sustainable Investment, IISD
  • Brieuc Posnic, International Relations Officer, Directorate General Energy, European Commission
  • Nikki Reisch, Director, CIEL’s Climate and Energy Program
  • Lukas Schaugg, International Law Analyst, IISD
  • Kyla Tienhaara, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University

This event was co-hosted by IISD, the Center for International Environmental Law, and ClientEarth.