When Greater Bristol Alliance campaigned previously against the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), the key concern was that it would give multinational companies the right to sue governments for loss of future profits. Mercifully, TTIP was never implemented, but there are Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in numerous investment treaties and trade deals – and the multinationals are now using them to block or delay action on climate change.
For example, the Netherlands has taken a decision to phase out coal, and for this reason they are now being sued for billions of euros by two companies, RWE and Uniper, who have made ISDS claims for loss of future profits under the Energy Charter Treaty.
With so much at stake at the huge climate summit, COP26, we want to know if anyone is going to raise this crucial issue. Is it possible to take effective action on climate change without challenging the power of multinational companies?