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)

TNI | 16-Feb-2018
We call on the EU and Indonesia to use the CEPA negotiations to design an investment chapter that prioritises equitable and sustainable development.
Friends of the Earth Europe | 13-Feb-2018
In September 2017, the investor filed a €500 million ISDS claim against the Republic of Croatia at an arbitration tribunal because the "state [had taken] away their development licences"
Cision | 12-Feb-2018
Frozen assets secure a US$520 million award against Republic of Kazakhstan.
La Tribune Afrique | 9-Feb-2018
Plusieurs sociétés minières internationales réclament 3,3 milliards de dollars au Kenya auprès du Centre international pour le règlement des différends relatifs aux investissements.
Express Tribune | 8-Feb-2018
As a National Accountability Bureau inquiry into alleged embezzlement in Reko Diq case remains on hold, various stakeholders made contradictory claims before the Public Accounts Committee about people who could be blamed for any corruption in the deal.
Business Daily | 8-Feb-2018
Global mining firms want Kenya compelled to pay Sh334 billion as compensation for cancelling their licences.
Business Day | 7-Feb-2018
International mining companies, which include Randgold, Glencore and China Molybdenum, have said they will challenge the new law through international arbitration, and are lobbying Kabila not to sign it.
Sierra Club | 29-Jan-2018
Environmental groups in court to intervene in NAFTA tribunal overstep NAFTA tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction when it made determination on what a Canadian environmental assessment panel can decide, groups say.
Lexology | 29-Jan-2018
This post discusses the disagreement between Karl-Heinz Bockstiegel (the president of the tribunal) and Michael Pryles, and Prof. Philippe Sands QC, on the assessment of damages.
CBC | 29-Jan-2018
Ruling found that New Jersey company was wrongly prevented from opening quarry and terminal.

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