Spain to withdraw from treaty protecting energy investments

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MADRID, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Spain has begun the process of withdrawing from the Energy Charter Treaty, a European treaty protecting energy investments, an energy ministry spokesman said on Thursday, confirming information from Politico.

Spain is now “certain” to withdraw from the treaty, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera told Politico, the spokesperson said, without providing further comment.

Spain would follow Italy which withdrew from the treaty in 2016.

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The treaty, in force since 1998, was designed to secure the region’s energy supply and grants protection to companies investing in the energy industry.

It was originally designed to support the energy sector in the former Soviet Union, allowing investors to sue governments for policies that undermine their investments.

In recent years, the treaty has been used by both fossil fuel and renewable energy companies in other European countries to sue governments for regulatory changes that threaten the return on specific investments.

Governments have been working on an updated version that would exclude fossil fuel investments.

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Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Mark Potter and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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