Floods, loss of marine life, global warming, animals getting extinct- humans are quickly destroying the environment in the name of development. Corporations and most governments are showing minimum concern for the climate and environment. Therefore, as citizens, it is our duty to force our governments to take proper action against climate change.
Recently, an international agreement named 'Energy Charter Treaty' hit the headlines when after a German energy group RWE sued the Dutch government for €1.4bn in damages after the country decided to phase out coal by the year 2030.
What is the ECT?
The ECT is an international agreement that came into effect in 1998. It established a framework for international co-operation in the energy industry under international law. It aims to promote energy security through the operation of more open and competitive energy markets. However, it includes a controversial mechanism of investor-state conflict arbitration that enables international investors to take legal action against the signatories of the agreement. The charter has more than 50 member countries as signatories, including the European Union (EU). Only Italy withdrew itself from ECT in 2016.
In 2020, the EU promised its citizens that it will establish Europe as the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 which will need a considerable amount of focus on decarbonisation and moving away from fossil fuels in all the EU countries.
Ever since RWE sued Netherlands, the criticism for ECT has grown. In the beginning of March, the EU is expected to hold key talks about ECT. Citizens of most EU countries are asking the EU to pull out of the treaty. Countries like France and Spain have already shown their interest in coming out of this agreement.
Thousands of people from EU countries have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns regarding the treaty. #NoECT is trending on Twitter due to multiple petitions and tweets against ECT. People are enraged yet hopeful.
Take a look at what people have to say about it.