Past Event

Compensation for a Just Energy Transition to a Zero-Carbon World: Practices and Principles in International (Investment) Law and Domestic Law

April 14, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
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Registration is free but required. Please register here. (You will automatically receive a Zoom link to join the event upon registration).

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with the Paris Agreement, requires significant reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2030 and net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century, and ultimately depends on a rapid shift away from fossil fuels.

As we take measures to decarbonize the global energy system, we also need to consider the distributional equity impacts of the energy transition on workers, communities, states, and foreign and domestic investors, and to reflect on the role that international and domestic legal frameworks play and should play in addressing those impacts.

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law—joint centers of the Earth Institute / Columbia Climate School and Columbia Law School at Columbia University—will co-host a 90-minute webinar on April 14 at 9am EST / 3pm CEST, focusing on legal approaches to compensation for a just energy transition.

Webinar discussions will cover, among others, the following topics:

  • A critique of the issue of compensation under investment treaties, including the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), from a climate change perspective
  • A review of arbitral tribunals’ approaches to the valuation of fossil fuel assets in selected investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases
  • A case study of Germany's compensation scheme for lignite producers, as an example of a compensation scheme under domestic law
  • A discussion of possible principles or criteria on compensation for a just energy transition under domestic and international law, taking into account the impact of the transition on workers, communities, states, and companies


Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law


  • Martin Dietrich Brauch, Senior Legal and Economics Researcher, CCSI
  • Kyla Tienhaara, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment, School of Environmental Studies and the Department of Global Development Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Blanca Gómez de la Torre, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution: Litigation and Arbitration, ECIJA GPA; former National Director for International Affairs and Arbitration at the Office of the Attorney-General Office of Ecuador
  • Sarah Brown, Senior Energy & Climate Analyst, Ember