The decision of Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is good news for the energy transition in the Netherlands and beyond. Governments of countries that are party to this treaty can therefore shape the transition to sustainable energy without having to fear claims by Dutch-based businesses.
Earlier this month, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) has decided to halt the geographic expansion to new member states, pending the finalization of the ongoing modernization process within the ECT. Both ENDS and our partner SEATINI, who amongst other things have been calling for this stop, welcome this decision.
Disposable fashion items continue to flood into the country, the nitrogen crisis has brought construction to a standstill and energy poverty is on the rise, but Dutch politicians are contemplating their navels. These are problems that we can never solve on our own. The clothes we wear, the food on our plates, and the electricity that comes out of our wall sockets – they are all produced in global trade and production chains. With far-reaching consequences, both in our own country and far, very far beyond our borders. It would be naive to think that we can solve all these problems through domestic policies alone. And vice versa: we would be evading our responsibilities if we continued to believe that the Netherlands only plays a humble role on the global stage. Latest figures show that the Netherlands is the fourth largest exporter and the seventh largest importer of products worldwide. With the elections on the way, it is time to look beyond our own small country. Because it is also important to vote with a worldwide impact.
Both ENDS co-wrote a Joint CSO Submission on the Draft Revised Version of the EIB Transparency Policy to the EIB. The transparency policy does not adequately reflect key international standards and principles regarding transparency, as set out in the Global Transparency Initiative's Transparency Charter for International Financial Institutions.
The policy should meet the nine key principles as set out in the Global Transparency Initiative's Transparency Charter for International Financial Institutions, namely: 1) the right of access,; 2) automatic disclosure,; 3) access to decision-making; 4) the right to request information; 5) limited exceptions; 6) appeals; 7) whistleblower protection; 8) the promotion of freedom of information; and 9) regular review.
On 23 May, the Netherlands celebrates 60 years of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The first BIT was signed with Tunisia in 1963. These treaties were intended to make an important contribution to protecting foreign investments by Dutch companies. A study by SOMO, Both ENDS and the Transnational Institute (TNI), however, shows that in practice they mainly give multinationals a powerful instrument that has far-reaching consequences people and the environment worldwide.