The Hague, April 5, 2019 - Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands will deliver a court summons to Shell to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries. A 236 page complaint will be delivered to Shell's International Headquarters in the Hague this afternoon by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, ActionAid NL, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL,Young Friends of the Earth NL, Waddenvereniging and a large group of co-plaintiffs.
How can companies be stimulated to use cleaner production methods and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases? In Europe the answer was thought to be found in a system called the ‘EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)’, implemented in 2005. Within this system, European companies get a fixed maximum number of ‘emission rights’ which they may either use themselves or sell to other companies – for example in case they emit less than they’re permitted to. Unfortunately the system has only had contrary effects, which is the reason why many organisations including Both ENDS, want it to stop immediately.
Earlier this week, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström presented a set of proposals for reforming investment protection standards and the dispute settlement mechanism ISDS (investor-to-state arbitration). The Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), of which Both ENDS is a member, thinks that Malmström’s proposed adjustments are not far-reaching enough. They will not significantly reform the ISDS system. The organisation has published an analysis report on this.
Almost 150,000 organisations and individuals who participated in a public consultation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) of the European Commission, made a strong statement. According to EU's own reporting, 97% does not want the controversial investor-to-state-dispute settlement (ISDS)-mechanism to be part of the trade deal. Worldwide, more than 3000 international investment agreements with ISDS exist, of which the Netherlands has more than 90s - predominantly with developing countries. Many of these countries have suffered damage caused by ISDS. This has started to set off the alarm bells in Europe and should definetely also have consequences for the already existing agreements.
Last week, the European Commission presented a proposal to reform the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which forms part of the draft text for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA. Yet, it is fraught with problems, as those few adjustments do not even address the heart of the ISDS-problem.