The Energy Charter Treaty at a Crossroads


The Centre for International Law and Governance (CILG), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with Hasselt University and Seven Summits Arbitration, is hosting an expert roundtable on the Energy Charter Treaty on 8th September 2022. In this event, academics and practitioners will provide their insights on key legal questions concerning investment and environmental protection under the ECT.

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is the only multilateral investment treaty catered to investments in the energy sector. Contracting parties include the EU and EU Member States as well as non-EU Member States across Eurasia—all signatories to the Paris Agreement. In the last decade, the ECT has rapidly become the most widely invoked investment treaty in intra-EU disputes, primarily due to a surge of cases brought by investors in the renewable energy sector. At the same time, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has repeatedly intervened—recently in Komstroy v. Moldova (C-741/19)—and an ambitious renegotiation of the treaty is on-going.

Discussions abound on the potential impact of the ECT on climate change mitigation. As countries move towards net-zero targets, national policies supporting investments in the renewable energy sector and aiming at phasing out fossil fuels will surge. Against the background of recent case-law and developments in the regulatory field, this roundtable aims at bringing together experts across sectors in a lively debate on investment arbitration under the ECT in the face of international climate goals. The roundtable will address, inter alia, the following questions:

  • Where are we coming from and where are we going: the environmental aspect of the ECT, how can the ECT best protect intra-EU energy investments, what are complementary or alternative systems?
  • How can public interest considerations, and climate change in particular, play a greater role in investor-State disputes under the ECT?
  • What are the challenges in the medium and long-term for investors and market players?
  • How can the modernization of the ECT better align the treaty with today’s international climate goals and what are the pros and cons of modernization vs. withdrawal/termination?

Concept note and programme

Expert Roundtable: The Energy Charter Treaty at a Crossroads Concept note (pdf)

For Registration, please click here

Time: 8th September 2022, 16.00 – 18.00 CEST

Venue: Online via Zoom (link provided upon registration).