Ireland confirms withdrawal from Energy Charter Treaty

Ireland confirms withdrawal from Energy Charter Treaty

Eamon Ryan

Ireland will withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) following the EU’s decision to do the same, environment minister Eamon Ryan has said.

A meeting of EU energy ministers last week formally adopted a decision for the EU and Euratom to withdraw from the treaty, which climate campaigners say is an obstacle to climate action.

Signed in 1994, the ECT was designed to promote international investment in the energy sector, historically providing protections for investors in fossil fuels through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) processes.

Proposals to modernise the ECT better to support cleaner technologies have been subject to months of talks between European countries, resulting in a stalemate.

Although the EU will withdraw from the treaty, individual member states may remain and take part in an upcoming conference aimed at amending the text.

Mr Ryan said: “As I have publicly stated on many occasions, the Energy Charter Treaty is not fit for purpose. Ireland had previously signalled our intent to leave the treaty, but we always said we had to do so in a coordinated way with the other member states.

“Ireland, led by officials in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, has engaged with all of our EU partners on the best way forward to achieve this. Leaving as a bloc gives us more strength.

“The Energy Charter Treaty is not aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and frankly, acts as a barrier to a just green transition. We can no longer be party to an international treaty that allows energy companies to sue governments over policies that aim to bring effect to the clean energy transition that the world needs.”

The UK announced its withdrawal from the treaty in February.

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