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)

Ecofin | 1-Oct-2020
Indiana Resources réclame 95 millions $ comme dédommagement minimum en réparation du préjudice causé par « l’expropriation illégale » de son permis d’exploration au projet de nickel Ntaka Hill.
Live Mint | 30-Sep-2020
Cairn is seeking full restitution for losses resulting from the expropriation of its investments in India in 2014.
Mining Weekly | 30-Sep-2020
Indiana Resources has lodged a $95-million compensation claim against the government of Tanzania over the "illegal expropriation” of the Ntaka Hill nickel project.
livemint | 28-Sep-2020
Vodafone Group Plc’s big win against the Indian government could set a precedent for similar arbitration cases, including the one initiated by Cairn Energy Plc.
Out-Law | 24-Sep-2020
Investors in renewable energy projects in Ukraine are considering legal action after feed-in tariffs for solar and onshore wind power plants were reduced retroactively to 2015, according to an expert.
El Diario | 23-Sep-2020
El Gobierno ve en la limitación de los arbitrajes de inversión entre Estados miembros de la Unión Europea una posible vía para evitar en el futuro el pago de las indemnizaciones reclamadas por inversores europeos por el recorte a las energías renovables.
CEO | 22-Sep-2020
The Energy Charter Treaty, which hardly anyone knows about, is a powerful instrument for fossil fuels companies to prevent climate protection.
CIAR Global | 18-Sep-2020
Un tribunal de La Haya falló ayer a favor de Chevron Corporation en su disputa con Ecuador, confirmando un laudo arbitral parcial de 2018 dictado por un tribunal internacional administrado por la Corte Permanente de Arbitraje.
The News | 18-Sep-2020
The World Bank’s ICSID has granted Pakistan a stay order of six months in the Reko Diq case in which Islamabad was awarded with a whopping $6 billion fine.
Nasdaq | 17-Sep-2020
The District Court of The Hague ruled in favor of Chevron in its dispute with the Republic of Ecuador, upholding a 2018 arbitral award rendered by an international tribunal administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

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