Portuguese Environment Minister Duarte Cordero announced this week that Portugal has decided to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, in line with the proposal made by the European Commission two weeks ago.
The Energy Charter Treaty is a multilateral agreement signed by 53 European and Asian countries, which has been in force since 1998. It allows companies operating in the energy sector to sue countries whose legislation threatens their investments.
Portugal “The condemnation process has begun and the proposed decision to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty is currently undergoing legislative proceedings.”Cordero said during a session of the Portuguese Parliament’s Environment and Energy Committee this week.
In response to a question from Representative Rui Tavares, the minister also said that he expected the government to soon agree to exit the treaty, after…A proposal from the European Commission in this regardintroduced on July 7.
“We are considering leaving the treaty in place [la Charte de] energy. This is an issue that needs to be considered in many areas of government, but we are making that assessment.Mr. Cordero noted in November, in response to Mr. Tavares, during a special parliamentary session on the country’s draft budget for 2023.
On October 20, the environmental organizations Zero and Truca called on Lisbon to withdraw from the treaty, believing that “Protects investments in fossil fuels” And “Prevents energy transformation”.
This position was expressed in a joint declaration after the Netherlands withdrew from the treaty, following in the footsteps of Spain and Poland.
Review of the “harmful” treaty.
EU member states were expected to decide by mid-November whether to agree to update the treaty, with the exception of Italy, which withdrew from the agreement in 2015. The 53 signatory countries must agree unanimously to do so. Update until it is approved.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the treaty constitutes a ‘A serious obstacle to mitigation’ Effects of global warming.
The Zero and Truka associations believe the charter conflicts with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which sets targets to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
The environmental socialist political party Livre (Verts/ALE) welcomed the Portuguese Environment Minister’s announcement, saying the decision was… “Long overdue”.
In a statement sent to the press, the party represented in Parliament by one MP, Mr. Tavares, wrote that the Energy Charter Treaty “It is extremely harmful, because it allows states to compensate polluting industries, making signatories hostage to big oil companies and oligarchic regimes.”.
“It also creates a system of parallel courts where big polluters can claim compensation for their losses due to them being forced to adopt environmental protection measures. It was therefore necessary for Portugal to withdraw from this treaty, and Livre is pleased that this decision has finally been taken.”adds the text.
The party said that it had questioned the government several times about exiting the treaty since the 2022 elections, and then in June 2022 it presented a draft resolution. “Which was rejected by a majority of opposition votes from the Socialist Party (eight members in favour, four abstentions), the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Initiative.”.
“Similarly, in October 2022, Livre directly questioned the Prime Minister during a parliamentary debate on the issue, but António Costa refused to answer.”continues the press release.
[Édité par Anne-Sophie Gayet]