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  • the science is clear, the world needs to stop burning fossil fuels.

  • To limit the devastating effect of climate change, The Netherlands has legislated to shut down all coal fired power plants by 2030.

  • But now a German energy company is suing the Dutch government for €1.4 billion over that decision.

  • The company are W E is using a secretive international agreement to claim compensation from the Netherlands.

  • On Thursday, R.

  • W s boss, Roger Mizzen, appeared at a parliamentary committee hearing answering questions about his company's decision to sue the Dutch state.

  • He said his company deserve to be paid damages from the losses that would result from the forced closure off its power plant in EMS, Harvard.

  • Now this case is possible because off the energy charter treaty, this international agreement allows energy investors to sue governments for their lost assets on potential profits resulting from regulatory changes.

  • The cases take place in closed door hearings that private tribunals in Washington, D.

  • C so far exceed cases have resulted in payments of more than 50 billion U.

  • S.

  • Dollars to investors.

  • That's just the judgments we know about Most remains secret when the was created in 1991 it was promoted as a way of giving companies security when investing in countries without reliable legal systems.

  • But it's increasingly used within the European Union, something that many EU governments deemed to be unlawful.

  • Activists from the NGO corporate Europe Observatory say that this treaty is now a major blockage to addressing climate change and as a result of thes lawsuits that force a few companies can take.

  • Under the Energy Charter treaty, governments can be forced to pay millions, if not billions, in taxpayer money.

  • This means that climate action will become more expensive and therefore less Yeah, attractive, I would say to taxpayers.

  • But it's also big incentive for governments to not take climate action in the first case because of out of fear of being sued.

  • We asked our W for comment.

  • It said the company's emissions reduction targets are in line with the Paris agreement.

  • R W E will be carbon neutral by 2040 and about the forced closure of its Netherlands power plant.

  • The Dutch law does not provide proper compensation for this interference.

  • We do not consider this to be legal.

  • Big coal, oil and gas have made quite a lot of money.

  • Ah, with destroying the planet for decades.

  • Really, now that they're forced to stop destroying the planet.

  • Um, do you really think that it's up to taxpayers to compensate them in billions, often for power plants that are no longer really worth much?

  • Because they cannot compete on the market anymore and renewable energy?

  • It's much cheaper.

  • I really think we should have a very different debate about the responsibility of these companies and the damage they've done to the climate and the environment, but definitely not force taxpayers to pay them out for yeah, I would say, a full business model in the billions.

  • The Energy Charter treaty is due to be reviewed this year, but activists say they hold little hope that it will be reformed.

  • Instead, they say, countries should leave the treaty altogether.

  • Italy has done so, and France recently suggested that it and other European countries should do the same.

  • But Germany is so far silent on the matter.

  • The role of German companies and the German government in all of this is really shameful.

  • We have two German companies threatening to sue the Netherlands or actually suing the Netherlands for phasing out called by 2030.

  • The German government should clearly have told the German companies that it considers such lawsuits illegal because that is actually the German position.

  • Um, but it hasn't done so.

  • And at the same time, the German government should make sure, together with other EU countries, that polluters can no longer attack climate action under the energy charter treaty and pull out of the agreement.

  • When it comes to climate change, we're often told that we need to change our personal habits.

  • This case shows that there are also larger systematic mechanisms discouraging meaningful change even when governments are willing to act.

  • Activists say that these shadowing legal systems must be reformed or replaced, or we have little chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

the science is clear, the world needs to stop burning fossil fuels.

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Big energy sues Netherlands for €1.4 billion over coal phase out | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/13
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