Toxic Legacy

Énergie Saguenay, Climate Action and Investment Arbitration
December 8, 2023
1.51 MB24 pages

An American company wanted to build a massive fossil fuel project in Quebec. After full public debate, the provincial and federal governments rejected the plan based on environmental concerns. The company launched a record-breaking trade lawsuit against Canada—confirming the dire threat that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) poses to bold climate action. 

The Ruby River case exposes the challenge that ISDS rights pose to democratic decision-making and meaningful public participation through key public processes, including environmental impact assessments of major fossil fuel projects.

This report unpacks the case in detail, as it currently stands—and proposes ways that governments can prevent fossil fuel companies from using secretive investor courts to block climate action in the future.