JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Youths sue European governments over fossil fuel energy pact

Youths sue European governments over fossil fuel energy pact

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 09:51 GMT+7
Youths sue European governments over fossil fuel energy pact
A Stop sign stands in front of the Neurath lignite power plant of German utility RWE, west of Cologne, Germany, January 16, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Five young people will on Tuesday file a lawsuit against 12 European governments over an international pact that allows fossil fuel investors to sue countries for taking action to tackle climate change.

Originally drawn up to support energy sector investments in former members of the Soviet Union, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) allows investors to sue countries over policies that damage their investments, and has been branded an obstacle to climate action by campaigners.

The plaintiffs represent countries hit by recent climate change-related disasters including Germany and Belgium, which last year suffered devastating floods after heavy rain that scientists said was made more likely by climate change.

Their suit will ask the European Court of Human Rights to protect their rights by ordering governments to remove impediments to fighting climate change created by the ECT.

The case targets Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which are ECT signatories.

"Governments are still putting profits of the fossil fuel industry over human rights. But climate change is escalating and demanding more and more lives every day," 17-year-old student Julia, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The more than 50 signatories to the ECT are currently negotiating reforms to it, but countries including Spain and France have raised the possibility of EU countries leaving the accord amid a lack of progress in the talks.

Criticism of the treaty has intensified amid lawsuits from companies seeking compensation for fossil fuel assets. RWE last year used it to seek compensation from the Dutch government over its plan to phase out coal-fuelled power by 2030, which would affect the German utility's Eemshaven power plant.

Five young people will on Tuesday file a lawsuit against 12 European governments over an international pact that allows fossil fuel investors to sue countries for taking action to tackle climate change.

Originally drawn up to support energy sector investments in former members of the Soviet Union, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) allows investors to sue countries over policies that damage their investments, and has been branded an obstacle to climate action by campaigners.

The plaintiffs represent countries hit by recent climate change-related disasters including Germany and Belgium, which last year suffered devastating floods after heavy rain that scientists said was made more likely by climate change.

Their suit will ask the European Court of Human Rights to protect their rights by ordering governments to remove impediments to fighting climate change created by the ECT.

The case targets Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which are ECT signatories.

"Governments are still putting profits of the fossil fuel industry over human rights. But climate change is escalating and demanding more and more lives every day," 17-year-old student Julia, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The more than 50 signatories to the ECT are currently negotiating reforms to it, but countries including Spain and France have raised the possibility of EU countries leaving the accord amid a lack of progress in the talks.

Criticism of the treaty has intensified amid lawsuits from companies seeking compensation for fossil fuel assets. RWE last year used it to seek compensation from the Dutch government over its plan to phase out coal-fuelled power by 2030, which would affect the German utility's Eemshaven power plant.

Reuters

More

Read more

New Zealand plans law to require Facebook, Google to pay for news

The New Zealand government said it will introduce a law that will require big online digital companies such as Alphabet Inc's Google and Meta Platforms Inc to pay New Zealand media companies for the local news content that appears on their feeds

20 hours ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news