The Energy Charter Treaty, which protects investments in the energy sector, has come under increasing criticism for blocking the phase-out of fossil fuels. Several countries, including France, the Netherlands and Spain, have announced that they are officially withdrawing from the contract. Italy has been out for a long time, and most recently Slovenia and Germany announced they were saying goodbye. The treaty update that Austria called for yesterday failed.
The Climate Ministry told APA that without the vote of Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands, the necessary qualified majority from EU countries for the updated decade at the Conference of the Parties to the Energy Charter would not have been achieved.
In Austria, they now want to discuss a full withdrawal from the contract and a further course of action with an open mind. More recently, SPÖ, the Confederation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labor (AK) have all called for an exit from the contract.
Austria is studying exit scenarios
There are several primary criticisms of the Energy Charter Treaty, and this applies even more so after the failure of the update. “He is now continuing to protect investments in oil and fossil gas,” Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gossler (Grenz) said, according to the broadcast. You will now have an “open discussion about getting out of this contract”. Austrian Labor Minister Martin Kucher said that Austria would “reassess the situation and put Austrian membership to an examination”.
The Energy Charter Treaty is a multilateral treaty signed in 1994 by the SPÖ/ÖVP government headed by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ). With ratification, Austria has been a member of the Energy Charter Treaty since 1998. This is an international treaty with more than 50 member states, to which the European Union belongs and all EU member states, except Italy, which left in 2016. After exit, it remains a contracting state Kharga is bound by the Energy Charter for another 20 years.
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