Belgium should demand a swift and coordinated exit of EU member states from the Energy Charter Treaty. Both Groen and Ecolo argued this matter on Monday. According to Green Parties, the treaty protects investments in fossil fuels at a time when full efforts must be made to transition to climate neutrality.
The seed of the Energy Charter Treaty was sown with the European Energy Charter, which was drawn up in the early 1990s with the aim of integrating the energy markets of Eastern Europe and Western Europe. What was once a political manifesto became a legally binding treaty to which non-European countries also joined.
However, the treaty is a thorn in the side of NGOs and a number of member states that want to withdraw from the treaty. They deplore the treaty’s use by energy companies and investors to discourage member states from giving up fossil fuels and demand financial sanctions.
Ecolo and Groen also want to avoid the treaty. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine reinforces the urgent need to build our independence from fossil fuels, as well as our independence from the countries that produce them,” said co-chairs Raja Mawan, Jean-Marc Nollet, Nadia Nagy and Jeremy Vanickhout.
According to her, the Energy Charter Treaty is “a major obstacle on the road to energy transition.” After all, this treaty protects billions of euros in investments in fossil fuels. And while negotiations are underway to update the treaty and bring it in line with the Paris climate agreement, the Greens say it does not appear that the underlying issues will be resolved.
The two sides concluded that “if the EU really wants to take a leadership role in combating the climate crisis, it cannot remain party to a treaty that protects climate-damaging investments.”
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