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Secretive court system has awarded over $100bn public money to corporations, finds new analysis

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new analysis reveals that over $100 billion of public money has been awarded to corporations through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) courts
• Fossil fuel companies are the largest beneficiaries, receiving $80.21 billion since 1998
• These secretive tribunals have distributed $114 billion to investors, paralleling the amount rich nations provided in climate aid in 2022

🔭 The context: ISDS courts allow corporations to sue governments for decisions impacting their profits, often behind closed doors
• These mechanisms are embedded in many international investment agreements, enabling investors to challenge public measures like green regulations
• Recently, the EU collectively withdrew from the Energy Charter Treaty, a significant source of ISDS claims

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: ISDS courts hinder climate action by allowing corporations to claim compensation when environmental regulations affect their profits
• This diverts public funds that could be used for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts
• Reforming or abolishing ISDS could empower governments to implement stronger climate policies without fear of costly litigation

⏭️ What's next: With the launch of a global ISDS tracker, the call for reform is intensifying
• Advocates urge countries to exit treaties containing ISDS provisions to prioritize public interest and environmental sustainability
• The growing scrutiny may lead to significant changes in how international investment disputes are resolved

💬 One quote: “The injustice is glaringly obvious: countries in the global south are the main victims of ISDS, while corporations from Europe and North America benefit
• It transfers public money into the hands of a few corporations and their shareholders. This has to stop.” — Fabian Flues, PowerShift NGO

📈 One stat: Fossil fuel companies have received $80.21 billion from ISDS cases since 1998

Click for more news covering the latest on ESG

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