Energy & environment

Most investor-state disputes (ISDS) have concerned environmental matters. Corporations are using the ISDS system found in trade and investment agreements to challenge environmental policies. As of end of 2019, 41% of all ICSID cases were energy and natural resources-related.

Most well-known cases include:

• Lone Pine Resources (US) vs. Canada: the investor challenged Quebec’s moratorium on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas. The provincial government declared the moratorium in 2011 so as to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the extraction method widely accused of leaching chemicals and gases into groundwater and the air. Case pending (NAFTA invoked).

• Bilcon (US) vs. Canada: the US industry challenged Canadian environmental requirements affecting their plans to open a basalt quarry and a marine terminal in Nova Scotia. In 2015 the ISDS tribunal decided that the government’s decision hindered the investors’ expectations. Bilcon won and received US$7 million in damages, plus interest (NAFTA invoked).

• Vattenfall (Sweden) vs. Germany: in 2007 the Swedish energy corporation was granted a provisional permit to build a coal-fired power plant near the city of Hamburg. In an effort to protect the Elbe river from the waste waters dumped from the plant, environmental restrictions were added before the final approval of its construction. The investor initiated a dispute, arguing it would make the project unviable. The case was ultimately settled in 2011, with the city of Hamburg agreeing to the lowering of environmental standards (ECT invoked).

Photo: Kris Krug / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

(March 2020)

La Jornada | 27-Sep-2022
El presidente López Obrador ¿qué respuesta dará a la advertencia que recién le ha hecho el “tribunal” del Centro Internacional de Arreglos de Diferencias relativas de Inversiones (Ciadi) del Banco Mundial, de que se abstenga de hacer “ataques públicos” a la minera estadunidense Vulcan Materials, la cual tiene demandado a México por al menos 500 millones de dólares
France 24 | 26-Sep-2022
Un tribunal internacional permitió a la minera estadounidense Vulcan Materials ampliar su reclamo contra el gobierno de México por las afectaciones que sufrió tras la clausura de un predio de su propiedad en el caribe mexicano.
CIEL | 23-Sep-2022
What recent case law and treaty reforms may mean for the future of investment arbitration in the energy sector.
Open Democracy | 23-Sep-2022
Australia deal and Energy Charter Treaty show why we must be able to hold government accountable for trade.
Stop CETA Mercosur | 21-Sep-2022
Depuis le 2 septembre, la France est officiellement poursuivie au titre du Traité sur la charte de l’énergie.
Client Earth | 21-Sep-2022
An international treaty that hamstrings governments’ ability to make climate policy is still in force – and an attempted overhaul has not worked. This is why the EU and its member states need to walk away from the Energy Charter Treaty.
CIAR Global | 20-Sep-2022
El 14 de septiembre de 2022, el tribunal del arbitraje de inversiones entre Mathias Kruck y otros v. España emitió su “Decision sobre jurisdicción, responsabilidad y quantum“ rechazando argumento de España sobre incompatibilidad del Tratado de la Carta de la Energía (TCE) con el Derecho de la Unión Europea.
Institute for Policy Studies | 20-Sep-2022
International organizations appeal to Colombia’s highest court over human rights violations at one of the largest open pit coal mines in the world.
Terra Justa | 19-Sep-2022
Las organizaciones, Terra Justa, el Instituto de Estudios Políticos (IPS) - Programa de Economía Global, War on Want, Global Justice Now y la Red Minera de Londres (LMN), presentaron su escrito a la Corte Constitucional de Colombia, después de que los gigantes mineros, Glencore y Anglo American, iniciaron demandas de arbitraje internacional en contra Colombia, para evitar la implementación de la decisión de la Corte que suspendió la expansión de la mina de carbón del Cerrejón en favor de los derechos de los Wayúu.
Médias24 | 16-Sep-2022
Le Maroc et Carlyle ont trouvé un accord qui réduirait les prétentions du fonds d’investissement américain à 14 millions de dollars contre plus de 400 millions initialement réclamés.

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