REACTION: France to quit climate-wrecking Energy Charter Treaty
Emmanuel Macron announcing the decision

REACTION: France to quit climate-wrecking Energy Charter Treaty

Date: 21 October 2022
Campaigns: Climate, Trade

Reacting to the announcement by President Macron that France will leave the Energy Charter Treaty, Jean Blaylock, trade campaign manager at Global Justice Now, said:

“France has joined the stampede of countries leaving the climate-wrecking Energy Charter Treaty. With the Netherlands, Spain and Poland also heading out the door, it’s high time the UK follows suit and pulls us out of this sorry mess.

“This little-known treaty is being used by fossil fuel giants to sue governments over climate action, leaving taxpayers liable for the bill. The Netherlands is being sued for billions over its coal phase-out plans by two energy firms, RWE and Uniper, and Italy has already lost out to Rockhopper which sued them for millions over a cancelled oil contract.

“Attempts to reform the treaty have ended up as mere greenwash, which would keep fossil fuel companies protected for ten more years – a decade that is crucial for the transition away from fossil fuels. Now governments are voting with their feet to protect future action. The UK government needs to join the rush for the exit and ditch this treaty now.”


The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a climate-wrecking corporate court agreement that fossil fuel companies are already using to sue governments for billions over climate action. It’s a deal between 50 countries, specifically for energy investments, and it is being used by:

  • Uniper and RWE to sue the Netherlands over phasing out coal power
  • Rockhopper to sue Italy over a ban on offshore oil drilling close to the coast
  • Ascent Resources to sue Slovenia over fracking

Corporate courts are formally known as investor-state dispute settlements or ISDS. They are written into trade and investment deals and they allow transnational corporations to sue governments outside of the national legal system for millions if not billions.

The ECT is a threat to climate action. To safeguard climate goals, countries need to exit the treaty and the time to do so is now. Attempts to modernise the treaty are a failure and would lock in a £9.4bn risk to the UK’s climate policies.

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Take action

Fifty thousand people in the UK, and over a million across Europe have joined the campaign. Get involved:

  • Sign the petition to stop corporate courts blocking climate action and to call for an exit from the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Write to your MP and ask them to pressure on the UK government to withdraw from the treaty.
  • Make a donation to support our campaign.

Photo: European Union