UK’s exit is a victory in ending the climate-wrecking Energy Charter Treaty

Global transition| Energy transition

Brussels, February 22 – The United Kingdom’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announced today that the UK will leave the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) after the failure of efforts to align it with its climate goals. It is a huge win for climate justice campaigners in the UK, who campaigned tirelessly to help expose this obscure trade deal.

Audrey Changoe, Trade Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe says:

“The UK’s exit is another massive victory to end the Energy Charter Treaty. This sends a clear message to the European Council that it finally needs to give the green light for the EU to leave this climate-wrecking treaty. The ECT is a major obstacle to the EU’s energy sovereignty and climate policies, draining tremendous amounts of public resources. This should be a wake-up call for the countries still in the ECT and set off a domino effect for more European states to leave the treaty.”

The UK’s exit is the latest in a growing wave of EU countries leaving the controversial treaty, including France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Slovenia and the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark. Italy left in 2016.

The Energy Charter Treaty allows big fossil fuel companies to sue EU countries for billions of tax-payers money over their climate actions, blocking a just and affordable energy transition. 

Last year an oil refinery company Klesch Group Holdings Limited sued the EU, Germany and Denmark for at least 95 million euros over windfall taxes under the Energy Charter Treaty.  The lawsuit by Klesch emerges amidst Europe’s broader efforts to transition towards sustainable energy and overcome the economic impact of high energy prices. In 2022, German coal giant RWE sued the Dutch government for 1.4 billion euros for its decision to phase out coal. The treaty protects around 345 billion euros worth of fossil fuel infrastructure in the EU.

Note for Editors:

Climate Action Network UK’s Press Release

For more information and media requests:

Jani Savolainen, Communications Coordinator


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