Expert says dying fossil fuel industry increasingly suing governments

20 December 2018: Academic Kyla Tienhaara argues in The Conversation that  fossil fuels have no future but companies are using ISDS to sue governments as they act to reduce carbon emissions.

She notes that the US Westmoreland coal company is using the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to sue Canada because Alberta province is phasing out coal-based power. The provincial government offered major utility companies transition payments to switch to gas and renewable energy. Westmoreland did not receive payment, because coal mining companies have no role to play in the energy transition. The company is claiming unfair treatment.

Canada and the US have recently agreed to end ISDS after three years in the revised version of NAFTA but the new deal has not yet been ratified by each government. There are fears that there will be more cases over the next three years.