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)

Reuters | 29-Jul-2016
Czech utility CEZ has launched arbitration seeking hundreds of millions of euros from Bulgaria for failure to protect its energy investments
CDM | 28-Jul-2016
Investment arbitration process between CEAC Holdings Limited and Montenegro was finished on 26th of July, in a way that the arbitration tribunal declared itself non-jurisdictional for this process.
PRNewswire | 27-Jul-2016
The arbitration dispute concerns the treatment applied by the Romanian authorities to the investments performed by KMG and KMGI in their Romanian subsidiaries.
The Ecologist | 27-Jul-2016
The elephant in the room is here and it is huge: the word "climate" means something totally different in the TTIP papers.
Peru this Week | 25-Jul-2016
“We hope that after the decision, the State will concentrated its efforts to provide a sustainable solution to the environmental pollution in the city La Oroya.”
Reuters | 23-Jul-2016
Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.
Reuters | 19-Jul-2016
A World Bank panel rejected a lawsuit filed against Peru by New York-based Renco Group Inc on technical grounds.
El Comercio | 18-Jul-2016
Controversia se relaciona a operaciones y medidas de remediación ambiental en el complejo metalúrgico, precisó el MEF.
Equities | 15-Jul-2016
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that Centerra Gold shares are the property of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC not the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Economic Times | 13-Jul-2016
Cairn Plc has claimed compensation of $5.6 billion from India in legal proceedings against the retrospective tax demand.

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