ECT

Modernizing the Energy Charter Treaty: What about termination?

Negotiations for modernizing the Energy Charter Treaty, a 1994 agreement covering trade, investment and other aspects of the energy sector among its contracting parties, are expected to begin before 2019 draws to a close. Yet given the need identified in myriad other forums to reform ISDS and to ensure trade and investment agreements can support ambitious climate action, why aren’t more officials and commentators discussing the possibility of terminating the ECT entirely, or of reconsidering its survival clause for those parties which choose to withdraw? Tania Voon explores the issue and outlines options going forward.

@taniavoon
@MelbLawSchool

News  |  September 19, 2019

Energy Charter Treaty: EU Council endorses negotiating directives for Brussels

The European Council has approved negotiating directives for the EU’s participation in talks to modernize the ECT, confirming its decision during a meeting on July 2, 2019.

Awards  |  September 19, 2019

Spain held liable for breach of FET under the ECT for frustrating legitimate expectations of 9REN, a Luxembourg-based renewable energy investor

9REN Holding S.À.R.L. v. The Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/15/15

Awards  |  September 19, 2019

Spain is ordered to pay damages of EUR 290.6 million in NextEra renewable energy case

NextEra Energy Global Holdings B.V and NextEra Energy Spain Holdings B.V v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/14/11

Awards  |  September 19, 2019

In yet another solar energy incentives case against Italy, ECT tribunal applying proportionality test finds breach of legitimate expectations

CEF Energia B.V. v. The Italian Republic, SCC Arbitration V (2015/158)

Spain’s Renewable Energy Saga: Lessons for international investment law and sustainable development

Spain has faced approximately 40 arbitrations since it made the decision in 2010 to rescind or revise various regulatory measures aimed at drawing in greater investments into renewable energy projects. This article examines the awards issued in four of those cases, looking in particular at how the tribunals interpreted and applied the FET standard. The author looks at the potential problems that can emerge when states are unsure of how any given tribunal may interpret FET or other key standards and presents some potential solutions.

Investor Due Diligence and the Energy Charter Treaty

The Energy Charter Treaty modernization negotiations are due to begin later this year and a set of topics for parties to consider has already been announced. This piece examines the prospects for updating the ECT’s existing formulation of FET and analyzes how this standard has been interpreted in past arbitrations involving renewable energy disputes. The author argues in favour of including a requirement of investor due diligence as an attempt to help ensure that investors anticipate possible risks that may emerge from changes to a state’s regulatory framework.

News  |  June 27, 2019

EU Commission proposes negotiating directives for ECT modernization

The EC released on May 14 a set of draft negotiating directives setting out its proposed approach in “modernizing” the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

ICSID tribunal finds Spain breached ECT obligations by failing to provide a reasonable rate of return

RREEF INFRASTRUCTURE (G.P.) LIMITED AND RREEF PAN-EUROPEAN INFRASTRUCTURE TWO LUX S.A R.L. V. KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/13/30

Investors’ legitimate expectation claims against Italy dismissed due to the absence of specific commitments

BLUSUN S.A., JEAN-PIERRE LECORCIER AND MICHAEL STEIN V. ITALIAN REPUBLIC, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/3

Italy found liable for change in renewable energy policy in intra-EU arbitration

GREENTECH ENERGY SYSTEMS A/S & ORS. V. THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC, SCC ARBITRATION V (2015/095)

Awards  |  October 17, 2018

Spain found to have breached the Energy Charter Treaty in award by ICSID tribunal

ANTIN INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES LUXEMBOURG S.À.R.L. AND ANTIN ENERGIA TERMOSOLAR B.V. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/13/31

Awards  |  October 17, 2018

The Czech Republic fends off another claim in relation to their renewable energy scheme

ANTARIS SOLAR GMBH AND DR. MICHAEL GÖDE V. CZECH REPUBLIC, PCA CASE NO. 2014-01

ICSID tribunal finds Spain in breach of the FET standard under the Energy Charter Treaty

MASDAR SOLAR & WIND COOPERATIEF U.A. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/1

Awards  |  September 26, 2017

All claims by Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands against Spain are dismissed

Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. v. the Kingdom of Spain, SCC Case No. V2013/153

Awards  |  September 26, 2017

Investors triumph over Spain in a claim concerning Spain’s regulatory overhaul for clean energy

Eiser Infrastructure Limited and Energía Solar Luxembourg S.à r.l. v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/36

Expansion of the Energy Charter to Africa and Asia: Undoing Reform in International Investment Law?

The Energy Charter Secretariat is in expansion mode, wanting to gain access to energy resources in Africa and Asia for its members—and extending a far-reaching and outdated investment protection system to investments in resource-rich countries.

Does the Green Economy Need Investor–State Dispute Settlement?

Those that propose that the environment needs “more investment protection” are recommending a very long-term solution (of questionable efficacy) to what is essentially a short-term problem.

Awards  |  November 26, 2015

Energorynok had no ownership or control over energy-related economic activity; ECT case against Moldova dismissed

State Enterprise “Energorynok” (Ukraine) v. The Republic of Moldova, SCC Arbitration V (2012/175)

ITN  |  January 14, 2013

News in Brief

Canada receives investor complaints over provincial energy and environment policies In recent months the government of Canada has received two complaints related to energy and environmental policies adopted by its provinces. Both investors have served Ottawa with notices of intent to submit a claim to arbitration under NAFTA’s investment chapter. A Delaware-based energy firm is […]

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

News in Brief

Vattenfall launches new claim against Germany The Swedish state-run energy firm Vattenfall has launched a second claim against Germany. The claim stems from Germany’s May 2011 decision to phase-out its nuclear power plants, in which 8 plants have been shuttered and the remaining 9 plants to be closed over the next decade. While Germany has […]

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

Trends in Investor Claims Over Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Energy

As governments increasingly turn to renewable energy to mitigate climate change, domestic climate-related policies in the form of price support measures such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) have played an important role in stimulating the much needed investment—public and private, domestic and foreign—in the sector. Feed-in tariffs are characterized by guaranteed electricity purchase prices (set higher […]

ITN  |  January 12, 2012

Awards and Decisions

Arbitrator sharply critical of majority decision in Italian bondholder claim against Argentina Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/5 Damon Vis-Dunbar Professor Georges Abi-Saab has delivered a sharply worded dissent against a decision that granted jurisdiction to an ICSID case involving tens of […]

ITN  |  January 12, 2012

News in Brief

Philip Morris files for arbitration over intellectual property dispute with Australia The tobacco company Philip Morris filed for arbitration on 21 November 2011, claiming the government of Australia’s regulations on cigarette branding breach the Hong Kong-Australia bilateral investment treaty. The announcement arrived on the same day that the Australian Parliament passed legislation that bans most […]

ITN  |  April 7, 2011

Awards and decisions

UK firm victorious in dispute with Russia, but damages much less than claimed RosInvestCo UK Ltd.  v. The Russian Federation, SCC Case No. Arb. V079/2005 Lise Johnson In an award dated 12 September 2010, the tribunal in RosInvestCo v. Russian Federation issued an award in which it found that the Russian Federation had unlawfully expropriated […]

ITN  |  March 10, 2010

Hearings take place in dispute between Electrabel and Hungary despite snowy weather

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 Despite snow storm interruptions a tribunal, composed of Mr. V.V. Vedeer, Ms. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, and Ms. Brigitte Stern, heard the merits of the dispute between Belgium-based energy firm Electrabel SA and Hungary last month. Along with AES Summit Generation Limited v. Republic of Hungary, the Electrabel SA v. Republic […]

ITN  |  February 10, 2010

Tribunal’s decision in anticipated Yukos case released to public

By Elizabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 Three highly anticipated decisions permitting three claimants – all former shareholders of Yukos Oil Corporation OJSC (Yukos) – to proceed to the merits phase of their multi-billion dollar expropriation claim against the Russian government have been released to the public.* Similar in content, all three decisions were issued by […]

ITN  |  November 1, 2009

Cementownia claim against Turkey found to be “manifestly ill-founded”

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 On September 17, 2009 an ICSID tribunal dismissed yet another claim initiated against the Republic of Turkey by an entity, Cementownia “Nowa Huta” S.A. (“Cementownia”), operated by the Uzan family.  As previously reported*, the Uzans are a wealthy Turkish family whose members have been enmeshed in multiple disputes around […]

ITN  |  November 1, 2009

Confusion about Settlement Agreement leads to Dismissal of Case Between Dutch Companies and Azerbaijan

By Elizabeth Whitsitt November 3, 2009 After a disagreement regarding the existence of a settlement agreement, an ICSID tribunal has determined that it has no jurisdiction to hear a dispute initiated by three Dutch companies, Azpetrol International Holdings B.V., Azpetrol Group B.V. and Azpetrol Oil Services Group B.V. against the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Dutch […]

ITN  |  July 15, 2009

Greenpeace pressures German government for transparency in Vattenfall dispute

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 15 July 2009 Arbitration proceedings between the Government of Germany and the Swedish energy utility Vattenfall should be conducted transparently, argue a coalition of non-governmental organizations. Greenpeace Germany and the World Economy, Ecology and Development organization are pressing the German Government to reverse its policy of not commenting or disclosing information related […]

ITN  |  July 10, 2009

Vattenfall request for arbitration sheds new light on dispute with Germany

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 11 July 2009 Investment Treaty News (ITN) has posted the request for arbitration by the Swedish energy utility Vattenfall against the Government of Germany. In April Vattenfall brought the German government to international arbitration in a challenge to environmental restrictions imposed by the City of Hamburg on a coal-fired power plant under […]

ITN  |  May 3, 2009

German government mum on Vattenfall ECT Claim

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 May 2009 The German government has declined to provide information on an investment dispute with the European utility Vattenfall on the grounds that it is against government policy to comment or disclose information on pending arbitrations. As has been reported in the financial press, Vattenfall is bringing the German government to international […]

Awards  |  October 13, 2008

Award is publicly released in failed Energy Charter Treaty claim against the Ukraine

By Damon Vis-Dunbar13 October 2008 Details of an arbitration involving a Latvian investor and the government of the Ukraine have emerged following the public release of the tribunal’s final award, some seven months after the decision was rendered. The Ukraine has been absolved of charges that it had breached the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), a […]

Awards  |  September 30, 2008

Plama Consortium Limited v. Republic of Bulgaria: Honesty is the best policy

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 30 September 2008 In a 27 August 2008 decision, a tribunal has concluded that Plama Consortium Limited (PCL), a Cyprus firm, was not entitled to protections afforded under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), given that it had fraudulently misrepresented itself when it invested in a privatized refinery, Nova Plama AD. In addition, […]

ITN  |  September 26, 2008

Caratube International Oil Company LLP v. Republic of Kazakhstan: American investor sues Kazakhstan over oil-field dispute

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 26 September 2008 A US citizen, Devincci Salah Hourani, has launched a lawsuit against the government of Kazakhstan over a failed contract to explore and exploit oil in the country. Mr. Hourani, who holds a 92% stake in the Kazakh firm Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC), has alleged breaches of the United […]

ITN  |  September 4, 2008

Clean Energy Investment: A report by the IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has published a report on clean-energy investment, with a focus on encouraging policies that would attract environmentally sustainable investment into developing countries. The report describes obstacles and opportunities to attracting clean-energy investment. At the domestic level, these include the various criteria that make the environment either attractive or risky for investors. At […]

ITN  |  August 11, 2008

TDM Call for Papers: The Notion of Investment – In Search of an Acceptable Definition

Transnational Dispute Management (TDM) is announcing a special issue dedicated to the notion of investment. The theme of the issue is: “The notion of investment: in search of an acceptable definition“. Contributions are invited from prospected authors with unpublished or previously published articles, conference papers, research papers, case studies. The recent arbitration awards where the […]