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UK to quit energy treaty that ‘penalizes’ net zero

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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 POLITICO or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The United Kingdom has announced its departure from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), an international energy agreement, deeming it outdated and counterproductive to the country's net zero carbon emissions goal by 2050
• This move aligns the UK with other countries like France, Spain, and Germany, who have also left the treaty due to concerns that it hampers efforts to combat climate change

🔭 The context: Established in 1994, the ECT was designed to safeguard energy investments and promote Western investment in the energy sectors of former Soviet states
• However, it has faced criticism for allowing fossil fuel companies to sue governments over environmental policies that affect their profits
• The UK's decision comes amid stalled talks to reform the treaty and growing pressure from environmental groups and other nations to align international investment agreements with climate goals

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Exiting the ECT is a significant step for the UK in reinforcing its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050
• The treaty has been criticized for undermining global climate efforts by protecting investments in fossil fuels, which are incompatible with urgent climate action goals
• This move could bolster global momentum towards prioritizing renewable energy investments and phasing out legal protections for fossil fuel investments

⏭️ What's next: The UK's departure from the ECT will officially take effect after one year, removing treaty protections for new energy investments
• However, a 20-year sunset clause could still expose the government to legal actions from existing investments
• The UK aims to strengthen legal protections for clean energy investors and develop a diplomatic strategy to ensure other investment agreements support the transition to a net-zero future

💬 One quote: "Remaining a member would not support our transition to cleaner, cheaper energy, and could even penalize us for our world-leading efforts to deliver net zero," (Graham Stuart, the UK's junior minister responsible for international climate policy)

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