Tuesday, February 12, 2008


A global energy charter

The CSIS doubts the ability of the G8 to handle the vital subject of global energy effectively. The report (see November 15, 2007) suggests instead that the next US administration takes the lead:

The next [US] administration should take the initiative on seeking a global consensus on how best to address greater resource competition and the potential perils of climate change in the years ahead. The primary objective could be to create a common charter outlining the principles of sound energy policies and practices. . .

The charter could address issues such as protection of sea lanes and critical infrastructure as well as an investment-friendly regulatory and legal framework that respects the development needs of resource holders.

But there is an Energy Charter Treaty already. Problems with Russia are a regular theme.


What is distinctive about the Energy Charter Treaty?

1. it is the first multilateral investment protection treaty that contains binding provisions on the protection of investment in relation specifically to the energy sector

2. the ECT integrates WTO rules with respect to energy trade and extends them to non-WTO countries that are members of the ECT

3. With respect to the strategically important issue of transit, the ECT lays down the principle of freedom of energy transit and non-discrimination, on the basis of origin, destination, ownership or pricing of energy materials and products.

Observations by the Secretary-General of the Energy Charter:

I would also like to mention what the ECT does not do – in order to correct some misconceptions that might exist: the ECT does not determine the structure of national energy markets, nor does it dictate national energy policies or oblige member countries to open up their energy sector to foreign investors. Each member state is free to decide how, and to what extent, its national and sovereign energy resources will be developed, and also the extent to which it will open its energy sector to foreign investments. Lastly, it does not impose mandatory third-party access to energy infrastructure.

Archive: see Energy on the G8 agenda, from three years ago.
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