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2 Sep 2022

Frédéric Simon, Euractiv

Poland: country to quit controversial Energy Charter Treaty

Poland drafts law to ‘terminate’ controversial Energy Charter Treaty

"Activists have drawn attention to a previously unnoticed draft law from the Polish government setting the country on course to withdraw from a 1990s treaty they say was designed to protect fossil fuels and needs to be abandoned in light of the climate crisis.

The draft law on the “termination of the Energy Charter Treaty” and its protocols was agreed by the Polish government on 10 August and sent to the country’s lower chamber, Sejm, by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on 25 August.

It says the charter’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause constitutes “a threat to the autonomy of EU law and the principle of mutual trust between Member States” and should be terminated “to ensure legal certainty in the EU legal order”.

The filing, made over the summer holiday period and without an official announcement, has gone largely unnoticed until now.

The move came as a surprise to green activists who have been campaigning for years against the treaty, which stands accused of protecting fossil fuel investments and undermining the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The Polish government has drawn the right conclusion from a failed attempt to reform the climate-wrecking Energy Charter Treaty. We urge other ECT contracting parties to do the same,” said Cornelia Maarfield, a Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe campaigner..."