Charanne and Construction Investments v. Spain: Legitimate Expectations and Investments in Renewable Energy
Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law 26(2), 2017, pp. 174-180
Posted: 14 Jun 2017 Last revised: 25 Jul 2017
Date Written: 2017
The award in Charanne and Construction Investments v. Spain is the first decision in a growing cluster of investment arbitrations relating to the enactment of legislative measures reducing or withdrawing economic support mechanisms previously introduced in support of renewable sources of energy. These disputes raise the question of whether investors can seek compensation under investment treaties when governments encourage investment via economic support schemes, but decide to reduce or eliminate them after the investment has been made. This case note focuses on the most noteworthy aspects of the Charanne decision: the requirements for breach of the standards of investment protection (namely, the prohibition of expropriation and the fair and equitable treatment standard); and the conditions for the protection of the investors’ legitimate expectations. The conclusions reflect on the tribunal’s finding that in the absence of specific commitments, international investment law does not require States to freeze regulatory frameworks.
Keywords: Investment Arbitration, Renewable Energy, Feed-In Tariffs, Economic Support Mechanisms, Prohibition of Expropriation, Fair and Equitable Treatment, Legitimate Expectations
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