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)

Stop Corporate Impunity | 27-May-2020
Indigenous communities call for international solidarity to support for the vindication of rights of the comunities and peoples affected by corporate impunity and their struggle for a dignified life.
CIAR Global | 27-May-2020
Más de 40 proyectos relacionados con energías renovables son potencialmente susceptibles de entrar en conflicto con el gobierno mexicano, muchos de ellos podrán recurrir al arbitraje de inversiones
Romania-Insider | 27-May-2020
Cyprus-based offshore EP Wind Project (Rom) Six Ltd claims that Romania has breached the Energy Charter Treaty.
CIAR Global | 26-May-2020
El 13 de mayo de 2020, el tribunal del arbitraje de inversiones entre Teco Guatemala Holdings, LLC contra la República de Guatamala emitió su laudo en el procedimiento de nueva sumisión en la larga historia de este arbitraje cuyos inicios nos retrotraen a 2010 en CIADI.
Stop Corporate Impunity | 26-May-2020
Hicieron un llamado a los accionistas de la transnacional para que se respeten sus derechos a la justicia y la reparación. Y apelaron a la solidaridad internacional ante la reivindicación de los derechos de las comunidades y pueblos afectados por la impunidad corporativa, así como ante sus luchas por una vida digna.
Morning Star | 26-May-2020
The dispute with Crystallex follows a ruling by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid), an international arbitration institution set up by the World Bank.
Les Amis de la Terre France | 22-May-2020
Le Traité sur la Charte de l’énergie est peu connu mais sape le combat contre le changement climatique.
Lexology | 22-May-2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has led States to adopt various public health measures that adversely affect foreign investors and exacerbate broader economic issues. In this climate, there is significant potential for disputes under the ECT.
Climate Change News | 22-May-2020
Uniper is using a controversial investor dispute system to claim up to €1 billion compensation for being forced to close a coal power station early.
CIAR Global | 19-May-2020
El 13 de mayo de 2020, la Secretaría del CIADI registró la presentación del arbitraje de la holandesa SMM Cerro Verde BV contra Perú invocando el Tratado Bilateral de Inversiones Países Bajos-Perú (1994).

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