Letter to Energy Ministers on Energy Charter Treaty

23 September 2019

On 24th of September EU Energy Ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss in the Council the contribution of the energy sector to climate action. The discussion is meant to help member states prepare their revised national energy and climate plans - due to be presented by the end of  the year. With the recent ISDS-claim threat under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) against the Netherlands over the prohibition of coal for energy production it is a key moment to send a message to Energy Ministers reminding them that if they are serious about their energy and climate plans they have to terminate the ECT.

Key messages

  1. The Energy Charter Treaty is protecting the fossil fuel industry and is against the climate and energy plans.

  2. The recent threat against the Netherlands is one more case to showcase this.

  3. If the countries are serious about their climate goals then we have to terminate the treaty.


The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) entered into force two decades ago. Under this international treaty foreign investors can sue signatory governments at international arbitration tribunals over measures in the energy sector that they consider harmful to their profits. No trade and investment agreement anywhere in the world has triggered more investor-state arbitrations than the ECT that includes multi-billion dollar claims with serious implications for public budgets. More info in CEO's and TNI's report on the ECT's dirty secrets.