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).

Photo: Kris Krug / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

(March 2020)

CIAR Global | 5-May-2021
Andes Petroleum, controlada por petroleras públicas chinas, pretende recobrar su parte de la compensación de cerca de 1.000 millones de dólares que Ecuador le pagó a la estadounidense Occidental Petroleum, procedente del arbitraje de inversiones por la rescisión de un contrato sobre un bloque petrolero en 2006.
King & Wood Mallesons | 5-May-2021
In order to mitigate host state risk, foreign investors should consider the importance of investment treaty protection.
ShareCast | 5-May-2021
The firm said its efforts were focused on pursuing its legal rights in India, and working with Fasken in preparation for a potential international arbitration under the Australia-India Bilateral Investment Treaty.
CIAR Global | 3-May-2021
Panamá pagará $15,5 millones a Enel Fortuna por retrasos en la construcción del proyecto de la tercera línea de transmisión eléctrica. Se pone fin así al arbitraje iniciado por la italiana en marzo de 2019.
SOMO | 28-Apr-2021
The claims that German energy companies RWE and Uniper have submitted in response to a Dutch law that phases out coal by 2030 are not in line with the declining value and profitability of their coal power plants in the Netherlands.
TRT | 23-Apr-2021
A Canadian mining company is suing Turkey for $1 billion at a secretive arbitration court over the cancellation of a mine project that was deemed disastrous for the environment.
IIED | 22-Apr-2021
It’s time to reconsider investor-state dispute settlement; inaction risks rising costs of shifting from fossil fuels to green alternatives.
CIAR Global | 21-Apr-2021
La defensa de España ha presentado una solicitud de anulación en el marco del arbitraje que mantiene con la alemana RWE Innogy, en relación con los arbitrajes por las reformas de las renovables, presentados contra el país ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI).
Reuters | 21-Apr-2021
Miner Alamos Gold said its Netherlands units will file an investment treaty claim exceeding $1 billion against Turkey for "unfair and inequitable treatment" with its gold mining project.
Le Soir | 19-Apr-2021
La société allemande Uniper poursuit les Pays-Bas en justice pour la fermeture forcée des centrales au charbon, a annoncé le ministre néerlandais de l’Economie et du Climat Bas van ’t Wout.

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