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The Energy Charter Treaty - Assessing its geopolitical, climate and financial impacts

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a multilateral investment protection agreement which protects investments in the energy supply.

For the first time, since the entry into force of the ECT in 1998, the geopolitical, climate and financial impacts are assessed.

The analyses show that:

  • The "raison d’être" of the ECT is no longer there due to the proliferation of treaties and partnerships dealing with trade and investment in the energy sector.
  • For the period 1998-2018, committed CO2 emissions protected under the ECT are almost double of the remaining EU carbon budget for the period 2018-2050.
  • By 2050, cumulative CO2 emissions protected by the ECT, if investment protection to fossil fuels is not phased-out, will be almost five times the EU remaining carbon budget for the period 2018-2050.
  • The ECT cannot be reformed to be aligned with the Paris Climate agreement given the gap in climate ambition of its current constituency, the importance of fossil fuels revenues for the economies of some of the signatories and the voting rules which require unanimity vote of the ECT signatories for any amendment of the Treaty.

The brief argues for a collective withdrawal of ECT signatories who have committed to carbon neutrality target to avoid additional lock-in of carbon protected by the ECT.

Screencast of the presentation to the press :