Energy & environment

Most investor-state disputes (ISDS) have concerned environmental matters. As of end of 2014, about 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. Bilcon won – damages still pending (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).

(October 2015)

Junior Mining Network | 19-Sep-2017
Tribunal hearing the Bear Creek Mining’s Santa Ana ICSID arbitration claim has officially closed proceedings in the case.
Agenda | 18-Sep-2017
Inter RAO structures claim $175 million loss was due to a refusal to raise energy tariffs when the Georgian national currency Lari was devaluated.
Turkey Telegraph | 13-Sep-2017
The Government has created a committee of public employees to conduct defence of Spain against avalanche international lawsuits brought by large investment firms.
Energy Infra Post | 12-Sep-2017
UK-based Cairn Energy Plc has increased its compensation claim by $249 million in the retrospective dispute case after the income tax department adjusted tax refund due to the oil explorer towards settlement of its tax liabilities.
Slovak Spectator | 11-Sep-2017
But the complainant has not had his last word.
African Law Business | 6-Sep-2017
The Singapore High Court has set aside an investor-state arbitral award on the merits against the Kingdom of Lesotho. The case is an important one, as it concerns whether investors can use arbitration to resolve cases that were pending before the SADC Tribunal when it was dissolved by the SADC Summit in 2014.
The Guardian | 1-Sep-2017
Romania’s prime minister has suggested his government will withdraw an application to have the Roman gold-mining area of Roșia Montană declared a Unesco world heritage site, potentially reviving controversial plans to resume mining.
The Nation | 1-Sep-2017
FTA Watch warns that Thailand would most certainly lose an arbitral tribunal process regarding allegations that it violated the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, exposing the country to huge losses due to claims for compensation.
Bastamag | 31-Aug-2017
Plus de 83 millions de dollars. C’est le montant réclamé par la compagnie pétrolière Hupecol Operating Co, basée au Texas, à l’État colombien sous l’accord de libre-échange US-Colombie.
Washington Examiner | 25-Aug-2017
More than 100 associations representing US businesses are teaming up to encourage the Trump administration to maintain ISDS protections as it renegotiates NAFTA, writes the head of the US oil and natural gas industry trade group

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