Rethinking Investment Treaties As Latin America Goes Green

By Ignacio Torterola, Diego Gosis and Quinn Smith (May 6, 2021, 4:27 PM EDT) -- As many European countries have scheduled phaseouts of fossil fuel within a decade, claims have been brought successfully by foreign investors against several states, arguing that new subsidies for renewable energy and other regulatory changes are destroying the value of their fossil fuel plants, making them stranded assets that merit compensation.

These claims have been bolstered by the Energy Charter Treaty, the most commonly cited treaty covering investor-state dispute settlement. Signed in 1994, the ECT has been cited by many as antithetical to the aims of the Paris Agreement, permitting fossil fuel companies — such as coal mines, oil fields and...

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