Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Le droit de dire non

L’accord commercial entre le Canada et l’UE menace les interdictions de la  fracturation hydraulique

Alors que les états membres de l’Union Européenne (UE) analysent les conséquences environnementales du développement du gaz de schiste par la fracturation hydraulique, des négociations sont en cours pour un Accord Économique et Commercial Global (AECG) entre le Canada et l’Union Européenne. Controversé, ce dernier permettrait aux investisseurs de contester la décision des gouvernements de réguler ou d’interdire la fracturation.

Ce document met en relief le débat public entourant la fracturation; les intérêts des compagnies pétrolières et gazières dans les réserves de gaz de schiste en Europe et les conséquences que la clause regardant la protection des investissements inclue dans l’AECG pourrait avoir sur le pouvoir des gouvernements de réglementer ou d’interdire la fracturation. Il comprend l’étude de cas de la société Lone Pine Resources Inc. versus le Canada, qui conteste le moratoire sur la fracturation et poursuit le gouvernement canadien en faisant valoir cette clause, et met en garde que cela pourrait se produire en Europe. Il recommande de ne pas inclure le mécanisme de règlement de litige entre les investisseurs et l’État dans l’AECG.

Attached files: 
Partner organisation: 

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this:

A revised Emissions Trading Directive is like red meat for the hungry pack of lobbyists that work the corridors of Brussels’ political institutions. Even minor differences in how pollution permits are handed out can result in profits or savings of millions of euros to big polluters.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

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The corporate lobby tour