Skip to content

This is drivel

Fossil fuel companies are forcing governments to compensate them for lost earnings in the transition to a low-carbon global economy, and destroying the world’s ability to counter their harmful activities, former top UN officials have warned.

Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland who was twice a UN climate envoy, said she was “outraged” by the activities of fossil fuel companies, including forcing governments into “investment treaties” that reward them with billions in compensation when countries reduce their reliance on oil, gas and coal.

“It is well worth looking at these investment treaties, there are lots of them – 2,000 of various sorts,” Robinson said. “[Under their terms], if countries do the right thing on climate, they have to compensate fossil fuel companies. And they compensate to the tune of $62bn (£49bn) over a five-year period. It’s another of these hidden subsidies. I was outraged.”

ISDS – for that’s hat this is – is a venue where the company can sue the government over whether the government has broken its own contract. The ability to sue in a court not controlled by the government.

The majority of cases are won by governments. For no one can demand money because govt has changed policy. Only if the change in policy then causes a loss on a contract under ISDS provisions. Why? Because it’s easier to attract investment if the rules are settled in advance. Also, it’s very tempting for governments to change them after the investment has been made.

9 thoughts on “This is drivel”

  1. Mary Robinson… Is she still going ?

    Still a folk hero in Ireland which is a sad reflection on their intelligence.

  2. The bleating about how the “fossil fuel industry is to blame for climate change’ is beyond stupid. As if Shell etc had been foisting oil and gas on us against our will.

    Oil and gas underpin the spectacular rise in living standards in the past century. If you think that is a bad thing, then fuck off and live in a cave .

  3. ‘If you think that is a bad thing, then fuck off and live in a cave .’

    Thank you Marius!!

  4. She said while looking like a Disney matriarch – her outfit from big polymer, sporting ageless hair underpinned by ammonia and colours by naphthalene, she arrived to her presentation in big car and used a script off a laptop air freighted to her business mailbox.
    Daily Mail fashion writers could do it like this much better – I wish they would.

  5. To paraphrase from the Yes Minister episode The Skeleton in the Cupboard: “That’s a real [promise] contract is it? Not the sort [you put in your manifesto] with which you underpin the contributory basis of state pension schemes?”.

  6. When I was young, a hundred years ago, I quickly realised that to be a successful crook without fear of prosecution it would be best to be a banker. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised the error of my ways. The very best career path is to go into politics…

  7. Person in Pictland

    “Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland who was twice a UN climate envoy”

    Toss her into a sea full of ravening sharks.

  8. The point about security of contract is a good one.
    Not much different from stealing someone’s house when you want to put a motorway or train line through, you’ve got to compensate.
    We want investment. And no insurer will likely insure you against a capricious government.
    But once you’ve made that point – that’s it. Can’t turn it into a whole article or even a book.
    That’s the trouble with neoliberalism, not much words needed.
    But if you want to insist that austerity is a thing, or we live in a world of vulture capitalism or economics isn’t doughnut enough, then you can easily garner and fabricate and misremember enough material for that book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *