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)

TeleSur | 21-Sep-2018
ICSID tribunal rules Costa Rica was in its right to stop a tourist construction project on the Pacific coast that violated environmental laws.
El Universo | 20-Sep-2018
El laudo del Tribunal Arbitral Internacional que falló en contra del Estado ecuatoriano, por “denegar justicia” a la empresa Chevron, no tendrá incidencia en el juicio que lleva adelante el Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía en Canadá en contra de la empresa petrolera internacional.
CCSI | 19-Sep-2018
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment is hosting a two-day conference on rethinking international investment governance, which seeks to elaborate principles for a progressive investment agenda.
Observatoire des Multinationales | 17-Sep-2018
Les arbitres de la Cour permanente d’arbitrage ont sommé l’Équateur de récuser son propre système judiciaire.
El Tiempo | 14-Sep-2018
La Procuraduría General del Estado anunció las acciones legales que seguirá para intentar anular el laudo arbitral en contra del Ecuador y a favor de la petrolera estadounidense Chevron.
EJIL: Talk! | 14-Sep-2018
The task no longer lies with interpreting investment treaties alone and trying to reform investment arbitration in general – but designing an entirely cohesive system for international environmental justice that is open to the actual victims of environmental disasters and not just the States that often fail to genuinely represent them.
State Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia | 13-Sep-2018
Latvia has made an application for annulment of an arbitral award in the case of UAB “E energija” (Lithuania) v. Republic of Latvia.
TeleSur | 12-Sep-2018
Victims of Chevron-Texaco’s pollution of the Ecuadorean Amazon have vowed to fight to protect the ruling which has granted them compensation.
RT | 11-Sep-2018
El tribunal determinó que Quito violó el Tratado Bilateral de Inversión y no brindó un trato justo y equitativo a la petrolera.
CNCD 11.11.11 | 11-Sep-2018
Le jugement du panel d’arbitrage s’abat comme un couperet sur les 30.000 personnes affectées par les dégâts de l’exploitation pétrolière de Chevron en Amazonie.

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