UK withdraws from Energy Charter Treaty saying it is not fit for Net Zero

The UK will leave the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) after the failure of efforts to align it with net zero, the government has announced. It said the decision will support the UK’s transition to net zero and strengthen its energy security. Nine EU member states are also withdrawing from the charter.
The UK withdrawal, will take effect after one year, after which protections for new investments will be removed.  
Signed in 1994, the Energy Charter Treaty was designed to promote international investment in the energy sector, historically providing protections for investors in fossil fuels. Proposals to modernise the ECT better to support cleaner technologies have been subject to months of talks between European countries, resulting in a stalemate.
Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart announced in September 2023 that the UK would review its membership if plans to update the ECT were not adopted.
On new of the withdrawal he said, “The Energy Charter Treaty is outdated and in urgent need of reform but talks have stalled and sensible renewal looks increasingly unlikely. Remaining a member would not support our transition to cleaner, cheaper energy, and could even penalise us for our world-leading efforts to deliver net zero.
“With £30 billion invested in the energy sector just since September, we continue to lead the world in cutting emissions, attracting international investment and providing the strongest legal protections for those who invest here.”
Shaun Spiers, executive director, Green Alliance said: “Civil society organisations and parliamentarians from all political parties have been clear that the Energy Charter Treaty is an out-of-date agreement and undermines our efforts to tackle climate change. We welcome the UK’s decision to leave, which will strengthen global efforts to roll out cheap, clean renewable energy.”

The nine EU member states withdrawing including France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

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