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).

(March 2020)

La Información | 22-Oct-2020
El Ministerio de Transición Ecológica espera un goteo de nuevas solicitudes hasta el 18 de diciembre, cuando finaliza el plazo de aceptación de nuevas condiciones.
Drilled | 19-Oct-2020
Expert Marcos Orellana walks us through the shadowy arbitration system, the Chevron case in particular, and what it all means for global climate action.
The Cable | 19-Oct-2020
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, Re:Common, Global Witness, and Corner House, have called on the Nigerian government to stand against Eni’s legal move over the oil processing license (OPL) 245.
IISD | 15-Oct-2020
En los últimos años, el Gobierno de Tanzania ha introducido cambios importantes a la legislación que rige la inversión extranjera en recursos naturales, y mecanismos relacionados con la solución de controversias, con el objetivo de librar a este sector de los vestigios de las relaciones “coloniales”.
Ecofin | 15-Oct-2020
Suite au refus du Nigeria d’attribuer à nouveau le bloc OPL 245 à Eni, la firme italienne s’est tournée vers le CIRDI afin qu’il mène une procédure d’arbitrage.
Reuters | 14-Oct-2020
Eni plans to argue that the country’s failure to allow it to exploit an oilfield it acquired with Royal Dutch Shell nearly a decade ago breaches their investment agreement.
IISD | 13-Oct-2020
La Tanzanie a promulgué des modifications profondes de la législation régissant les investissements étrangers dans le secteur des ressources naturelles, dans le but de débarrasser le secteur des vestiges des relations « colonialistes ».
IISD | 13-Oct-2020
Tanzania has enacted significant changes to the legislation governing foreign investment in natural resources with the aim of ridding the sector of the vestiges of “colonial” relationships.
CIAR Global | 6-Oct-2020
Masdar ha renunciado a los 80 millones de euros del laudo que le favoreció en el arbitraje de inversiones mantenido con España ante CIADI por las reformas energéticas de las renovables.
Sputnik | 6-Oct-2020
La intención del Gobierno de México para contrarrestar la reforma energética promulgada en 2014 podría implicar violaciones a los compromisos que el país latinoamericano adquirió al suscribirse a los Tratados Integral y Progresista de Asociación Transpacífico (TIPAT) y, así como al acuerdo entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá (T-MEC).

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