Rough trade – The Ecologist

Credit: Original article can be found here

On the UK side, the threats are also very clear. Suncor, headquartered in Alberta, owns 40 per cent of Rosebank – the largest undeveloped oilfield in the North Sea. Approval of this project would make it impossible for the country to meet its climate targets. 

All new and (and some existing) fossil fuel production needs to be halted to keep global heating below 1.5C as recognised by the International Energy Agency and called for by UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres

This is the basis of calls for a fair global phase out of fossil fuels under the auspices of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: an idea with backing from a number of governments, cities and a large number of civil society organisations around the world. We simply cannot afford to have expensive investor claims delaying or derailing the required phase-out of fossil fuels.

This is why the EU is actively working on exiting the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), the largest investment treaty in the world. Experts have argued that the UK should do the same.


The good news is that, in the case of the CPTPP, it is fairly easy for the UK to eliminate the risk of ISDS cases. Australia and New Zealand have negotiated side-letters with CPTPP parties, including the UK, which “disapply the ISDS provisions.” 

The new government in Chile is seeking to do the same. The British government couldadopt this approach with Canada, which would be entirely consistent with earlier statements it has made about ensuring that ISDS would not be included in a bilateral trade deal with the country.

More broadly, the UK, and all countries committed to climate action, should move to terminate the thousands of agreements with ISDS provisions that pose a particular threat to countries in the global south

The need to build new models of climate compatible development to tackle the climate crisis cannot be undermined by the very corporations responsible for that crisis.

These Authors

Kyla Tienhaara is Canada research chair in economy and environment at Queen’s University. Peter Newell is a professor of international relations at the University of Sussex.