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Government must end double speak on investor protection preventing climate crisis - Senator Lynn Boylan

18 May, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice Senator Lynn Boylan has accused the government of double speak when it comes to protecting energy investors over the environment.

Senator Boylan asked Minister of State Ossian Smyth to outline the Department’s position in the upcoming negotiations to modernise the Energy Charter Treaty at Commencement Matters in the Seanad today.

The Dublin-based Senator said:

“The government must take a strong position against the investor protection in the Energy Charter Treaty.

“Today in the Seanad we hear ministerial double speak.

“Minister Ossian Smyth said, ‘We are moving away from a situation of trying to protect investors to a situation of trying to protect our Earth and our common atmosphere’.

“So the government is trying to sign us up to the CETA trade deal, but at the same time trying to renegotiate the investor protections in the Energy Charter Treaty.

“The ECT provides access to closed door arbitration mechanisms for energy investors to sue states when they don’t like the policy changes those states are making. A German coal company is suing the Dutch government over plans to phased out coal powered stations.

“Today, the International Energy Agency has called for radical change if we are to reach net zero and stay within the 1.5 degrees agreed to in the Paris Accord. We do not need any more investments in oil or gas projects.

“If ever there was a clear signal that Ireland and the EU need to unshackle themselves from the Energy Charter Treaty, this is it.”

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