Spain confirms intention to withdraw from Energy Charter Treaty
14 Oct 2022
The ETC is a multilateral treaty signed by 53 countries that has been in force since 1998 and whose revision has been under negotiation for four years.
After a last negotiation round in June, the treaty is now set for a formal revamp in November, pending agreement and subsequent ratification by all signatories.
Investors in the energy sector enjoy special protection under the treaty. Over the years, some have used the ECT to challenge decisions by EU countries to phase out fossil fuels.
Several EU member states, such as Spain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, have called on the European Commission to either reform or abandon the treaty.
Spain’s minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has called in the past for “a coordinated exit from the ECT” by the EU and its member states and has finally decided to make the move, official sources told EFE...
Last week, the Polish lower chamber of Parliament also passed a law to formally withdraw from the treaty, a decision that will become final after a vote in the Senate.
Spain’s withdrawal from the treaty was been welcomed by environmental organisations such as the Climate Action Network (CAN), which described Spain and Poland’s decision as “courageous” and called on other EU countries to follow suit.
“The dangerous part is staying in. With the climate and fossil fuel crisis we are living through, we cannot allow countries to waste public money on compensating fossil fuel companies for undertaking policies that help curb emissions,” CAN Europe trade policy expert Cornelia Maarfield told EFE.