Big Oil has us over a barrel. Investor state dispute settlements, backed by international treaties and free trade mechanisms mean billions of dollars are being handed to fossil fuel investors in cases where positive climate action by governments is damaging fossil fuel asset values. Not only is this paying polluters, but the fear of being sued prevents governments from acting. This research project exposes the scale of the payments, the extent of the fear, and pushes for renegotiation.
Progress on climate change mitigation, adaptation and addressing loss and damage is painfully slow . While many of the reasons are well known, there are several major blockers to tackling climate change that are barely discussed and far from the public eye. This research, communications, and influencing campaign is focused on exposing these 'hidden handbrakes' and finding ways to release them, while also creating a platform for others to join - using it as an opportunity for collective action
This research paper is the first phase of a multiphase, multistakeholder project aimed at evolving this damaging system to enable countries to invest at will in clean energy projects. Whilst the project won't solve the problem on its own it will enable a base load of evidence that will be accessible to the general public to be communicated - thus bringing a wider awareness to the issue and public scrutiny to be brought to the issue, we believe public pressure is an important driver for change.
Potentially this campaign will interest the media and news journalists enough to cover it in their publications. This could bring lots more attention to the issue and create some debate about the 'fairness' of paying fossil fuel companies who are making $billions per year anyway without this additional handbrake being in place. We hope that the campaign will accelerate the renegotiation of the treaties - some 2600 of which exist across the world and help to maintain the fossil fuel status quo.