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)

CEO | 30-Jun-2021
Amid the climate and environmental emergency, a British oil and gas company is threatening to sue Slovenia for requiring an environmental impact assessment for a controversial gas fracking project.
CNCD 11.11.11 | 30-Jun-2021
Des solutions existent pour mettre ce traité anachronique et contraire aux objectifs climatiques hors d’état de nuire.
RT | 29-Jun-2021
En vertu d’un accord bilatéral avec l’Etat français, l’Equateur a été condamné à verser plus de 400 millions de dollars à une filiale de la société pétrolière Perenco... sise aux Bahamas.
Mining Weekly | 29-Jun-2021
Prairie Mining has filed a £806-million statement of claim for compensation against the Republic of Poland as part of its ongoing international arbitration claims.
Reuters | 29-Jun-2021
An international arbitration panel ruled Costa Rica does not owe Canadian miner Infinito Gold compensation after the cancellation of a mining project a decade ago.
CIAR Global | 28-Jun-2021
Los Derechos Humanos están en el centro de numerosas demandas de arbitraje de inversiones.
CIAR Global | 14-Jun-2021
La Comisión Europea y los Estados miembros han participado en la quinta ronda de negociación sobre la modernización del Tratado de la Carta de la Energía (TCE). Entre los temas discutidos: la Solución de Controversias.
CIAR Global | 13-Jun-2021
Finalmente, las compañías inversoras en energías renovables Eiser Infrastructure Ltd. y Energia Solar Luxembourg SARL han renunciado a su lucha por el laudo de 128 millones de euros contra España, emitido a su favor en 2017 y que fue anulado porque el árbitro designado por los inversores tenía un conflicto de intereses que no había sido revelado.
Semanario Universidad | 7-Jun-2021
Tribunal exime a Costa Rica de pagar $400 millones pues inversionista no demostró daño económico que reclamaba.
CIAR Global | 4-Jun-2021
La minera británica Anglo American plc. ha presentado una demanda de arbitraje de inversiones contra Colombia ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI).

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