Secretive court system poses threat to Paris climate deal, says whistleblower | The Guardian
Treaty allows energy corporations to sue governments for billions over policies that could hurt their profits
A secretive investor court system poses a real threat to the Paris climate agreement, activists have said, as governments taking action to phase out fossil fuels face a slew of multimillion-dollar lawsuits for lost profits.
New data seen by the Guardian shows a surge in cases under the energy charter treaty (ECT), an obscure international agreement that allows energy corporations to sue governments over policies that could hurt their profits.
Coal and oil investors are already suing governments for several billions in compensation for lost profits over energy policy changes. For example, the German energy company RWE is suing the Netherlands for €1.4bn (£1.2bn) over its plans to phase out coal, while Rockhopper Exploration, based in the UK, is suing the Italian government after it banned new drilling near the coast.