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22/04/2024

MEPs Urged To Vote To Withdraw EU From Energy Charter Treaty

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Sinn Féin's Climate Spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, has urged MEPs to vote to withdraw the European Union from the Energy Charter Treaty.

The parliament has the opportunity to give its consent to proceed with an EU withdrawal by voting on a recommendation from the Industry, Research, Energy, and International Trade committees advocating as much. If parliament gives its consent, the Council can adopt the decision through a qualified majority vote.

Senator Boylan has said that the EU's withdrawal from the treaty "would be a positive step for the climate because, as even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has pointed out, the ECT is a major barrier to net zero".

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In a statement, Senator Boylan said:

"I urge all Irish MEPs to vote to consign the ECT to history. We need to leave this treaty so that government policy can align its energy policy with the Paris Agreement and our climate targets, without the threat of legal action for compensation from fossil fuel companies.

"Unfortunately, withdrawal is not the end of the road. The sunset 'zombie' clause means companies can still bring cases against Ireland under the treaty for 20 years. The government must act at EU level to hammer out an inter-se agreement to prevent cases being brought by other EU member states. Even then, other contracting parties to the treaty from non-EU countries can still bring cases against Ireland.

"It took years of campaigning by activists across the world to get us to this point, and it will take some more effort to guard against the negative effects of the ECT."

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