France must leave the Energy Charter Treaty

Article updated on October 21 at 5:00 pm: Emmanuel Macron announced on 21 October that France would withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty.

The French government will have to decide by mid-November whether to keep France within the much-criticized Energy Charter Treaty, this harmful treaty that delays, increases or blocks the energy transition. While the High Council for the Climate has just published an opinion it recommends a retreat coordinated by TCE and France and the Member States ofEuropean Union that Spain, the Netherlands and Poland have just announced to withdraw from it – after Italy in 2016 – and that France is now being sued by a German investor under the TCEmore than thirty civil society organizations have written to several government ministers inviting them to withdraw France from the Energy Charter Treaty as soon as possible and vote against the project TCE renewed during the next vote of the Council of Ministers ofEuropean Union. A few weeks after COP27 on the climate (6-18 November), and while the IPCC [1] blacklisted the TCE as a brake on ambitious climate policies, organizations also invite all those who wish to join this action by sending the same letter via this electronic tool.

On October 19, 2022,


Bruno the MayorMinister of Economy and Finance

Christophe BechuMinister of Ecological Transition

Agnes Pannier-RunacherMinister of Energy Transition

Olivier BechtDelegate Minister for Foreign Trade

Lorenzo BooneState Secretary for Europe

At a time when the climate catastrophe is worsening, geopolitical tensions are escalating and energy prices are skyrocketing, how could France remain adherent to a treaty, the Energy Charter Treaty, which delays, increases the cost or it blocks the great energy transition whose need and urgency are felt everywhere ? How can we agree to remain members of a treaty that allows industrialists to sue states for their policies to shut down coal-fired power plants (Netherlands), ban on oil drilling (Italy), limit the use of most harmful exploitation (Slovenia), or adaptation of support measures to renewable energies (Spain, France) [2] ?

For many years our organizations have been warning of the dangers posed by the Energy Charter Treaty [3]and more than a million people in Europe have signed a petition asking for theEuropean Union and the Member States to withdraw from TCE [4]. After being threatened with persecution when the Hulot law on hydrocarbons was examined, to the point of being watered down, France is now being sued by a German investor following the downward revision of the purchase prices of photovoltaic electricity, decided in 2020 [5]. Will France remain silent in the face of this treaty which is damaging both to the energy transition and to the ability of public authorities to finely regulate the sector? ? Our organizations invite all those who rebel against this Treaty to join us in solemnly asking the French government that France:

  • withdraws from the Energy Charter Treaty ;
  • vote against the draft new Treaty on the Energy Charter in the next vote of the Council of Ministers ofEuropean Union ;
  • intervene to prevent the integration of other southern countries into this harmful treaty.

Signed in 1994 and entered into force in 1998, the TCE is a vestige of the past: it aimed to encourage and protect foreign direct investment (IDE) in the energy sector, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Thirty years later, this no longer makes sense: while the climate emergency requires an accelerated closure of a number of existing fossil infrastructures and strict regulation of the energy sector, the TCE considerably weakens the ability of public authorities to ensure both energy and climate security of populations. The principles underlying the TCE (investor protection, neglect of climate issues, etc.) do not take into account the immense climate and energy challenges we face.

Faced with criticism, the European Union agreed to accept a modernization process of TCE. After several years of negotiations, far from solving the problems raised, this modernized treaty plans to extend the protection of investments in fossil fuels for too long a period, as well as to extend investor protection to new investments in energy (carbon capture and storage , biomass, hydrogen, synthetic fuels, etc.), and therefore the risk of litigation. While these new provisions could be ratified by mid-November by the Council ofEuropean Unionthen at a conference of member states of TCE on 22 November it is more than necessary for the French government to announce that it will vote against this new one TCE and, following the example of other European countries such as Spain, he retires TCE.

Please receive the expression of our most sincere greetings.

Signatory organizations:

Non-violent action COP21

ActionAid France


Friends of the Earth

Alofa Tuvalù


Attac France


CADTM France

CCFD-Terre Solidaire

Poverty and Politics Committee

Peasant Confederation

Right to housing

International Emmaus

Energy of Nantes


France Nature Environment


Future generations


Green peace

Veblen Institute

LDH (League of Human Rights)

Friends of the diplomatic world

Does this make sense

Our business to everyone

Recover the finances

Roosvelt network IDF


Solidarity Union

For an ecological awakening

United for climate and biodiversity

Youth for the climate

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