France to leave energy treaty criticized by climate groups

AFP , Friday 21 Oct 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that France will become the latest European Union country to leave an energy agreement which climate groups claim is being used by the fossil fuel industry to legally challenge environmental measures.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. AP


The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) entered into force in 1998 to protect foreign investment in the energy sector. Climate nongovernmental organizations have been calling for a mass EU withdrawal from the treaty.

Italy has already quit the ECT, while Spain and the Netherlands have also announced similar plans.

As part of EU Green Deal policies, member countries agreed last year that the treaty needs to be revised to discourage all further investments in fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure projects, ``unless they are fully consistent with an ambitious, clearly defined pathway towards climate neutrality,`` in line with United Nations targets.

Macron last month called for a `` massive acceleration '' of renewable energy development in his country, including offshore wind farms and solar power, via a new plan that seeks to bring lagging France closer to the energy policies of its EU neighbours.

The move comes amid a major energy crisis in Europe aggravated by Russia's war in Ukraine. Macron wants France to gain more independence in terms of electricity production.

Short link: