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Campaigners to protest against £11bn threat to climate goals

CAMPAIGNERS are set to protest across the country on Saturday demanding that Britain withdraws from an international agreement that compensates fossil fuel companies when governments take climate action.

The Energy Charter Treaty allows oil and gas companies to claim billions from governments when they take action against climate change.

Global Justice Now says Britain faces legal claims of up to £11 billion from companies over steps it needs to take to meet its Paris Agreement target.

The target, reaffirmed at Cop26 in Glasgow, commits to keep warming below 1.5°C.

But campaigners fear claims made under the charter could prevent or delay the necessary climate action being taken. 

Global Justice Now activists will protest in London, Bexhill, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Kilmarnock, Macclesfield, Manchester, Sheffield and York on Saturday to demand Britain's withdrawal from the charter.

In north London, a protest is due to take place at Uniper’s Enfield Power Station from 1pm.
 
The German company is suing the Dutch government for £774 million over its decision to phase out coal.

The protests follow talks over reform to the charter in Brussels this week between the 50 countries signed up to the treaty, including the UK. 

It is the final round of talks ahead of a crunch June deadline when EU countries have said they will consider withdrawal if the treaty cannot be reformed in line with the Paris Agreement.

Campaigners are urging Britain to follow suit and commit to withdraw. 

Jean Blaylock, trade campaign manager at Global Justice Now, said: “The fossil fuel industry is already doing everything in its power to delay and deter climate action.

“The last thing we need is for governments to give these companies a secret weapon in their battle to squeeze maximum profits out of climate breakdown.”

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