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)

Lexology | 20-Oct-2017
The key issue in the case concerned the proper interpretation of the dispute resolution provision in the 2003 Investment Law, which was the basis for jurisdiction.
Ecofin | 19-Oct-2017
La firme exploratoire African Petroleum a annoncé avoir déposé auprès du CIRDI les documents relatifs à sa demande d’arbitrage dans le cadre du conflit qui l’oppose au gouvernement gambien.
Reuters | 19-Oct-2017
African Petroleum Corp has begun arbitration proceedings over Gambia’s decision to strip the company of its rights to explore for oil in two offshore areas.
NY Times | 18-Oct-2017
This far-flung peninsula in the North Atlantic seems an unlikely place for an international trade dispute. But an American company’s scuttled plans to build a quarry here have turned these quiet fishing grounds into a case study.
Renewables Now | 16-Oct-2017
US clean energy company Invenergy LLC has notified the Polish authorities it plans to turn to international arbitration over its wind investments in the country, if no settlement is reached within six months.
CIAR Global | 10-Oct-2017
El arbitraje se inició ante la negativa de Cofide a brindar la financiación necesaria a la minera para continuar con la explotación del proyecto de la mina de oro Bandera Ollachea.
Mining Review Africa | 5-Oct-2017
New laws revolve around the notion that Tanzania’s domestic law is to be supreme over any international dispute or arbitration decision.
IISD | 4-Oct-2017
The tribunal ordered Burlington to pay USD41 million in compensation to Ecuador for environmental and infrastructure damage.
Business Wire | 4-Oct-2017
An ICSID Arbitral Tribunal ordered Kazakhstan to pay Caratube USD 39.2 million in damages, plus USD 1,207,757.44, and well over 10 million USD in interest.
El Diario | 3-Oct-2017
De perderse todas esas demandas, cargar las indemnizaciones de golpe a los costes del sistema eléctrico supondría una subida de la luz del 20%.

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