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Environment, industry and fossil are blocking the ecological transition: the Judges supranational available to the private sector

the ROME – On the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Fairwatch to the Earth! and Cospe launch “Process the future”, a new advocacy report that rev

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Environment, industry and fossil are blocking the ecological transition: the Judges supranational available to the private sector
the ROME – On the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Fairwatch to the Earth! and Cospe launch “Process the future”, a new advocacy report that reveals the strategy of the companies fossil to block or slow down the ecological transition. More and more often, in fact, large companies to attack environmental legislation through international arbitration, a system of courts supranational non-transparent at the disposal of the private sector. Thanks to this true and just judicial system in parallel, companies can apply for compensation millionaire moguls to the States that promote laws detrimental to their profits, even if these policies go in the direction of the public interest or to combat climate change.

Courts semi-secrets and processes without the jury and the public. In a process with no jury, no public, in front of three lawyers for business, the governments must uphold the moratoriums on drilling, plans exit from coal or from nuclear energy. And often lose the cause, or are driven to negotiate in order to avoid damages which would be too burdensome. But often the settlement involves the withdrawal of the proposed law or the weakening of the floors in climate, with serious damage to citizens and the environment. “The existence of these courts, semi-secret, " explains Monica Di Sisto, vice president of Fairwatch and spokesperson of the Campaign Stop TTIP/CETA – is possible thanks to the thousands of agreements on trade and investment that the States have signed in these years. With this new research, he added, the Sixtus - we want to show that the trade agenda with Italian and European today is incompatible with the Green New Deal proposed in the past few weeks. We need to reverse the priority between business and human rights, and the lords of Davos must be stopped.”

The clause for the protection of investors. And' this - the ISDS - the mainstay of most of the 3 thousand commercial treaties in force between two or more Countries. The latest data available – even if many cases remain secretate – tell that companies have used 983 times in order to drag the bar at the governments “guilty” to propose policies unwelcome to me. A number that, in 2020, according to current trends, will surpass almost certainly share 1000. At present, there are 322 causes still awaiting judgment. Of the 677 res judicata, 430 have seen a successful, total or partial, of the company (191 resolved in favor of the investor, 139 closed with a plea agreement), 230 have seen to exonerate the State, 73 were suspended and 14 closed without the granting of a compensation.

A State is always blamed, never the accuser. In most cases, the Country reported has paid at least the legal costs, which on average amounted to 8 million euros, but can rise up to 30. the ISDS, in short, is a one way system, according to which a State can only appear as a defendant, never in the clothes of the accused. Civil society organisations and movements all over the world who are opposed to the ISDS because, especially in the last twenty-five years, has led to an increasing number of cases specious, with companies that have targeted laws on the protection of labour, public services and the environment.

accusation to the environmental legislation. “it Is the environmental legislation to be today under direct attack of the multinationals of the fossil – adds Francesco Panié, a researcher from the association of the Earth! among the authors of the report, While Italy and the European Union are having to cope with the effects of climate change, the giants of the pollution row against using arbitration courts as a cudgel to block or slow down the action for the climate”. In particular, the Energy Charter Treaty is the most relied on by investors to initiate disputes against governments: 128 causes the arbitration were moved by grasping this agreement.

Some emblematic cases. The relationship “Process the future”, lists a series of emblematic cases in which different Countries including Italy, France, the Netherlands and Sweden have been the target of claims made by energy companies of the sectors of coal, gas and oil. In particular, Italy could be in the 2020 to pay up to $ 350 million to the Rokchopper, the oil company british that in 2017 has had recourse to arbitration against the introduction of the prohibition of drilling within 12 nautical miles.

The absence of the European Union. “before this scandal, the european Union is not doing enough – says Alberto Zoratti, a researcher at Cospe between the authors of the report – Instead of deleting the ISDS treaties on investment, being negotiated in Vienna in these days, a proposal to turn it into a Court of international standing which would become in effect a world tribunal for the large companies. This is not acceptable.” This process, which takes place in the framework of the UN Commission on international trade law (UNCITRAL), goes in the opposite direction to what they ask hundreds of experts, organizations, and jurists.

"In Brussels using two weights and two measures". “we Need to put an end to the system of the ISDS and delete it from trade agreements already concluded – says Nicoletta Dentico, of the Society for International Development and one of the authors of the report – in the meantime, the European Union must work to reach an ambitious binding treaty of the UN on business and human rights, which obliges the private sector to respond to the violations perpetrated along the supply chain and aid the communities affected by the activity impact to obtain justice. So far, he added, Nicoletta Dentico - Brussels has used two weights and two measures, supporting instruments such as ISDS, which strengthen the power of the corporation, and are opposing the agreement in defense of the rights and of the environment. Without a reversal of the priority, the ecological crisis and social will become more and more acute”.

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