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)

Milieu Defensie | 12-Jan-2018
The French oil company Total evicts people from their land in Uganda to make room for an oil processing facility.
RQIC | 11-Jan-2018
Deux vidéos pour mieux démontrer et expliquer que l’ALÉNA constitue un obstacle a la poursuite des objectifs de protection de l’environnement et de lutte aux changements climatiques.
Reuters | 9-Jan-2018
Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati will ask bailiffs to sell a $5.2 billion stake in the Kashagan oil field owned by a Kazakh sovereign wealth fund if Astana refuses to pay a $500 million arbitration award.
Miami Diario | 9-Jan-2018
Venezuela debió haber cancelado a la minera $25 millones en noviembre de 2017, $15 millones en diciembre de 2017 y en enero de 2018 otros $10 millones.
Cision | 8-Jan-2018
The Dutch court held that Kazakhstan is and will remain the sole shareholder of Samruk and that Samruk’s board is controlled by Kazakhstan.
IELP Blog | 8-Jan-2018
The recent Eiser v. Spain ICSID award is yet another example of a state being condemned to pay a large monetary sum merely because an investor has been economically disadvantaged by a reasonable and necessary regulatory change.
CIAR Global | 4-Jan-2018
La mayoría de los arbitrajes contra España han sido iniciados por inversores de otros Estados de la UE, por lo que esta situación es contraria al Derecho de la Unión.
Petro Barometer | 2-Jan-2018
Shell used an arbitration case it filed with the International Centre for the Settlement of International Disputes to railroad the government into brokering truce between it and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, its estranged erstwhile partner and the original licensee.
Express Tribune | 2-Jan-2018
The government has spent over Rs2 billion to win a case in the international court over the acquisition of assets of Progas Pakistan Limited company – worth Rs2.3 billion.
IISD | 22-Dec-2017
A majority tribunal at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes awarded Caratube International Oil Company LLP USD 39.2 million plus interest for the unlawful expropriation of its oil contract rights by Kazakhstan.

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