UK quits treaty that lets oil firms sue government

The UK has withdrawn from an international treaty that lets fossil-fuel companies sue governments pursuing climate policies for billions in compensation for lost profits.

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is meant to make it easier and cheaper to trade energy between countries, but signatories have struggled to reform it. The UK quit the treaty on Wednesday, calling it “outdated”. Green campaigners welcomed the news.

Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart said: “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.”

Kierra Box, of Friends of the Earth, said: “Leaving this incredibly flawed treaty is a brilliant win for our environment and the climate. Future UK governments will now have more freedom to take ambitious action to protect our planet, without the threat of being sued for millions of pounds by companies based overseas.”

The government said the withdrawal would take affect in one year – but what will happen to cases already in progress remains unclear.

Read the full article at BBC News here.

Photography by Arvind Vallabh on Unsplash