News / 28 January 2020

Both ENDS and SEATINI welcome ECT’s decision to halt expansion

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.

The ECT is an investment treaty that regulates private investments in the energy sector. Not only does the ECT incorporate similar problems as many other investment treaties, such as investor-state arbitration, but its protection of energy-related investments in particular threatens a successful energy transition, necessary in the light of the climate crisis.

In December 2019, Both ENDS and SEATINI took the initiative to write a letter to the member states of the ECT, which was signed by more than 250 civil society organisations from all over the world. Together, we shared our worries about the ECT and called for a brake on the process to expand the ECT geographically to ever new states and to not allow any treaty accessions as long as the ECT is in its current state.

We therefore welcome the (temporary) expansion stop, by which the non-member states will keep the freedom to develop their energy policies in the public interest and to proceed with the necessary energy transition.

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