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Big Business Sues Whole Country Over Climate Change Decisions

Even before we have a final agreement by the European Community commissioners over the appalling anti-democracy Transatlantic Trade And Investment Pasrtnership (TTIP), energy company Vattenfall is suing Germany for phasing out nuclear power and replacing it with renewables. In a secret court, the company is demanding a whopping 4.7 billion Euros in compensation.

Vattenfall is suing Germany for billions in an international arbitration court in Washington. And the game is rigged. These secret investor court hearings are taking place behind closed doors. The tribunals are biased in favour of investors, with corporate lawyers often acting as the judges and parties.

But the company claims that their decisions to do so has nothing to do with the TTIP, but that they are acting as a result of the Energy Charter Treaty claims their Vattenfall's General Counsel, Anne Gynnerstedt.

In their defence, the Swedish energy company says on its website:

"Vattenfall is not questioning the decision to phase out nuclear power in Germany. But we do insist on receiving compensation for the financial loss suffered by the company. There was simply no other way than to indict Germany.

There is a trade agreement in the energy sector – the Energy Charter Treaty – which has been signed by Germany and Sweden together with over fifty other states and the EU. The Charter contains clauses aiming to ensure that countries respect fundamental legal principles.

The dispute settlement mechanisms laid down in the Charter give companies the security to make major investments without having to take political risks. This in no way prevents democratic decisions. Germany can naturally decide to reorient its energy policy, but foreign investors should not have to pay the price for such a decision and lose money. That in itself would be in conflict with democratic principles."

"If there were no way to receive compensation, then no one could be expected to make major long-term investments over national borders, which would be counter-productive."

The Swedish energy giant also claims reciprocation as an excuse, according to their press release on their website:

A similar situation occurred in Sweden in 1997 when the Swedish government decided to decommission the nuclear power plant Barsebäck. Sweden then compensated the German owners who were affected because the decommissioning of Barsebäck came ahead of time.

"The German government has not similarly sought to compensate Vattenfall. The foreign-owned nuclear power which was closed due to the Swedish decision was considerably older than several of Vattenfall's reactors shut down in Germany."

With regards to the Energy Charter Treaty, their website shows that 59 lawsuits are currently ongoing between companies and national states.

Pic: Energy Charter - click to download document from the E-LibraryThis lawsuit could have massive repercussions for other European countries turning towards renewables to replace climate-destroying traditional energy supplies. Vattenfall is not the only one lining up to squeeze Germany for making the right decision. Energy giants RWE and Eon are also demanding millions of Euros.

We can’t let energy companies get away with this and force our democratically-elected governments to their knees.
Call on Vattenfall to drop the lawsuit against Germany!

Big business is proving by this action that they dont give a damn about the future of the planet, your future and that of your children and your children's children!

After the tragedy in Fukushima, Germany started taking a closer look at some of its nuclear power plants to avoid a similar catastrophe. Two decisions were made. First, old and malfunctioning reactors were to be shut down immediately. Second, there was to be a phase-out of nuclear energy by 2022 and a move towards renewables.

These decisions turned Germany into a leader on renewable energy production worldwide almost overnight. Germany is planning to have 80% of its energy provided by renewables by 2050. The new policy also aspires to increase energy efficiency by 50 percent and reduce carbon emissions by 80%.

A win for the planet, the people and our children. For once, it is big business who stands to lose. And Vattenfall and Co. want to make sure they don’t go down without a fight.

Vattenfall is one of the biggest energy companies in Europe. It’s doing badly financially, and is extremely vulnerable to public opinion. It cannot afford to lose any more customers right now. If we stand together as Europeans and demand that Vattenfall drop the lawsuit against Germany, we will stand a chance!

Call on Vattenfall to drop the lawsuit against Germany over their nuclear phase-out decision!

Sign the petition here

Source: Sum Of Us

You can download the Energy Charter from the E-Library Database by using search keyword 'energy'

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