Netherlands to pull out of treaty protecting energy investments

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AMSTERDAM, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The Netherlands will follow Spain in pulling out of the Energy Charter Treaty protecting investments in the sector, its energy ministry said on Wednesday.

In force since 1998, the treaty, which has more than 50 signatories including the European Union, allows investors to sue governments over policies that jeopardise their investments.

But in recent years it has been used by fossil fuel and renewable energy companies to sue governments for regulatory changes that threaten returns on specific investments.

In announcing the decision, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten told parliament the treaty is not in line with the Paris climate accord and that efforts to re-negotiate it have been unsuccessful, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“For that reason, the Netherlands, preferably with the entire EU, will leave the ECT. When the Netherlands will officially leave is still to be determined,” the spokesperson added.

Italy withdrew from the treaty in 2016.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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