What, you may ask has what happens in Canada got to do with fracking on the Fylde?
Well the EU is considering a draft Canada-EU Trade Agreement treaty which would “establish a fair and equitable treatment” obligation that outlaws any “breach of legitimate expectations of investors”.
In practice this means that any fracking company based in Canada might be able to challenge any fracking ban or moratorium on the basis that it has cost their investors money.
In fact they don’t really even have to be based in Canada
Under the proposed treaty, companies launching suits against EU countries over drilling restrictions would not need to be strictly ‘Canadian’.
“You can’t just set up a mailbox in Canada and say you’re a Canadian company,” Bernasconi-Osterwalder explained. “You need some presence there. But you could still be a US company that has invested in Canada and then invests in the EU.”
The American tobacco company Philip Morris has sued Uruguay over ‘fair and equitable treatment’ codes, under a treaty between Montevideo and Switzerland. It also sued the Australian government under a 1993 Hong Kong-Australia investment treaty.
As euractive.com explains “The public would not only pay for the related environmental and health damages, but also run the risk of having to pay compensation to Big Energy when communities say no to fracking.”
You can read Euractiv’s commentary here. http://www.euractiv.com/trade/draft-eu-canada-trade-treaty-thr-news-519595?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=EurActivRSS
We will post information about further developments and any actions to follow / petitions to be signed in due course.