The House of Representatives is very critical of the arbitration case that the energy company RWE starts, because it is due to close its coal plant in the Eemshaven by 2030. The company wants to enforce compensation of 1.4 billion euros. The argument is that the government itself authorized the construction of a new coal plant which could be used for 40 years.
RWE opened the coal plant in 2015. In a hearing in the House of Representatives, Chairman Miesen said that he “has no choice but to go to court”. “We understand the objective of the law to close all coal plants. But we cannot accept the intervention in our property, partly because we built the plant at the explicit request of the Dutch government.”
The German energy giant RWE is now starting an international arbitration case based on the Energy Charter Treaty, but wants to go to the Dutch courts soon, said Miesen. He wants to get counterclockwise or counterclockwise compensation As far as he is concerned, the two cases are in fact “about reliable behaviour of the government”, He called the closure of the Eemshaven plant “a form of expropriation”.
Miesen found a number of critical MPs opposite himself. The left-wing opposition insisted that before construction it was clear how environmentally polluting coal plants are. According to GroenLinks, SP, PvdA and the Party voor de Dieren, RWE could have known that the Eemshaven could never last forty years.
Mr Van der Lee, who had invited the chairman of the board to the House of Representatives, said that he was very unpleasantly surprised by the legal action taken by RWE. “You get hundreds of millions in funding for biomass and now you want 1.4 billion euros from the Dutch taxpayer. Why opt for this insolent obstruction when it comes to the climate ambitions that the Netherlands has?”
MP Sienot of D66 spoke of “a hilarious claim”, which in his opinion is also “world fearsome” in a world that is changing so quickly. He asked if RWE could not play a better role in the energy transition “instead of holding the state prisoner in a rearguard fight at the taxpayers expense”.
CDA member of parliament Mulder was particularly critical of the step to launch an international procedure on the basis of a treaty which, as far as she is concerned, is mainly intended for countries which have less regulated things. She thinks this case is bad for the reputation of the Netherlands.
Only the SGP said to understand RWEs step very well. Member of the House Stoffer believes that a law stipulating that all coal plants must close down by 2030 “is not a normal operating risk”. “And if you are allowed to litigate as Urgenda on the one hand, why shouldnt you be allowed to do that on the other hand as a company?”