The fight to dismantle the little-known Energy Charter Treaty


Electricity transmission pylons beside the gas-fired power plant, operated by Uniper SE, in Irsching, Germany, on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Michaela Handrek-Rehle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — The Energy Charter Treaty is not widely known, yet it’s feared the influence of this international agreement could be enough by itself to derail hopes of capping global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The ECT contains a highly contentious legal mechanism that allows foreign energy companies to sue governments over climate action that could hurt future profits.

These “corporate court” cases, sometimes referred to as investor-state dispute settlements, are highly secretive, take place outside of…


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