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Climate: EU withdraws from controversial energy agreement

Climate: EU withdraws from controversial energy agreement

Germany and other EU countries have already decided to withdraw – now the EU as a whole is following suit. But it will still be a while before the exit happens.

The European Union has decided to withdraw from a controversial international energy agreement. At a Council of Ministers in Brussels, the member states voted unanimously for a joint withdrawal from the so-called Energy Charter Treaty, as several diplomats told the German Press Agency. The EU Parliament had already given the green light at the end of last month.

The agreement, which came into force in 1998, was created to protect investments in gas, oil and coal projects and has long been criticized by environmental organizations. It allows investors to file lawsuits against states before arbitration courts. The intention behind this is to guarantee companies security when investing.

The German government had already decided that Germany would withdraw from the treaty at the end of 2022. Other EU countries such as France, the Netherlands and Spain had also announced their withdrawal, and Italy had already withdrawn in 2016. The exit period is 20 years. The European Commission proposed an exit from the EU last year.

German Green MP Anna Cavazzini described the exit as a milestone for European climate protection. “We can finally take decisive action for a climate-neutral future without the constant threat of billion-dollar corporate lawsuits.”

EU Commission on the withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty Communication from the EU Parliament

Source: Stern

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