stop isds - Davos edition Public Services International has joined the Stop ISDS coalition on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum, to protest how many of davos' corporate sponsors use Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to undermine progressive policy.

We’re also helping to launch a new petition, calling on the European Union to end the promotion of ISDS and instead support a binding UN treaty on Transitional Corporations and Human Rights.

Davos - Corporate Wolves Media Action

Campaigners from the StopISDS Coalition organised a media action in front of the WEF Security Perimeter, calling on Government leaders to "Defang Corporate Power" and Stop ISDS.

After 30 seconds the campaigners were arrested by Swiss Police - but not before they got the chance to speak with some of the International Press Core about the Stop ISDS Campaign.

So what's this ISDS THing?

Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement is a set of rules found within trade and investment treaties which gives multinationals and investors the right to sue governments via secretive international tribunals if they feel their corporate rights have been unfairly impeded on. Among the most egregious examples include ISDS cases brought against environmental protections, public health measures and attempts to make electricity more affordable.

And why davos?

The World Economic Forum (WEF), currently taking place in Davos, is the premiere sales-pitch for private-sector solutions. CEO’s will spend the week rubbing shoulders with politicians and promoting their vision of the world, all tucked away in the secrecy of the Swiss Alps.

Yet, an analysis by Public Services International reveals that over forty WEF Industry Partners have used ISDS provisions to sue states for policies or decisions they don’t like.

In 2005, WEF-regular Cargill sued Mexico for implementing a tax on high-fructose corn syrup to address the country’s obesity crisis.

In 2008, Dow Chemical sued Canada after the province of Quebec banned a harmful pesticide.

Pharma-giant Novartis recently threatened to use ISDS to successfully discourage the Colombian government from making a life-saving leukaemia drug more accessible.

Nothing epitomizes the coziness between politicians and corporations quite like the WEF. And nothing epitomizes the troubling results of unchecked corporate political power quite like ISDS.

So what's the plan

Campaigners, dressed as Corporate ISDS Wolves will invade the streets of Davos to highlight the real face of private-sector influence.

Check out the Campaign video about the Corporate ISDS Wolves of Davos here:

To contact the Campaigners on the ground in Davos, email leo.hyde(at)world-psi.org

WEF Industry Partners - and their ISDS cases

PSI has compiled a full list of WEF Industry partners and case summaries here:

Vattenfall, which runs power plants, is suing Germany for over €4 billion after the Government announced a transition away from nuclear energy. Vattenfall also sued Germany after Hamburg's Environmental Authority imposed quality controls for the waste waters released into the river from a Vattenfall power plant. Vattenfall claimed that those standards made the investment project unviable. Using ISDS provisions, the company asked Germany for compensation totaling €1.4 billion. The case was eventually settled when the City of Hamburg agreed to lower the environmental requirements previously set.

Chevron sued Ecuador for attempting to make the company pay for the devastating environmental impact and pollution resulting from mining and drilling activity in the Amazon region.

Glencore sued the Colombian government for restricting the expansion of a pollutive open-cast coal mine.

Engie sued Hungary after the government increased taxes on foreign energy companies and attempted to bring down prices for consumers.

Mobil sued the Canadian government after the province of New Foundland tried to ensure a percentage of profits from offshore gas extraction were re-invested in research and development in the region.

Total is suing Uganda after the government taxed their purchase of oil-exploration blocks.

Scotia Bank sued Argentina for over half a billion dollars for measures taken during the 2002 Argentine Financial Crisis.

Mercuria, a Swiss commodity trader, sued Poland via a Cyprus subsidiary for implementing an EU directive on mandatory fuel reserves which they say negatively affected their profits.

Shell sued the Philippines, via a Dutch subsidiary curiously named “Shell Philippines,” for attempts by the government to make offshore-gas extractors pay their fair share in tax.

Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered sued the Indian Government for “failing to protect investor loans.”

Siemens sued Argentina for cancelling a contract for outsourced public services, after widespread failures. Siemens was awarded over US $200 million.

Novartis in 2016 threatened to use ISDS to discourage the Colombian government from attempting to make a life-saving leukaemia drug more accessible through compulsory licensing. The drug, which has brought in over €40 billion in revenue for Novartis, was sold in Columbia for over $15,000 per patient per year; twice the average person’s income.

Cargill, which produces food products, sued the Mexican government for implementing a tax on beverages containing high fructose corn syrup. The tax was an attempt to address the country’s spiralling diabetes and obesity crisis – the second highest in the OECD after the USA. Cargill used an ISDS process under NAFTA to extract over $70million in damages from the Mexican public budget.

Dow Chemical sued Canada after the province of Quebec banned the manufacture and sale of harmful pesticides. Dow Agrosciences declared the subsequent settlement a victory, and commentators noted the case may discourage other Governments from moving ahead with their own pesticide bans.


Agility Telecommunications: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/793

Airbus: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/907

DP World: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/807

Iberdrola: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/901

Nissan: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/828

Puma Energy https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/820

Engie: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/712

Glencore: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/728

Shell: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/721

Vedanta: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/733

Arcelor Mittal: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/697

Greentech: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/634

Mobil: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/643

Total: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/657

Anglo American: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/605

RWE: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/586

Alghanim: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/527

Repsol: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/490

Vatenfall: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/467

Agility: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/422

Indorama: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/406

Merck: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/437

Chevron: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/341

Deutsche Bank: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/337

Dow: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/345

A.P. Møller-Maersk: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/336

Mercuria Energy: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/322

Turkcell: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/288

Eni: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/265

Cargill: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/204

ArcelorMittal: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/197

Saipem: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/207

ScotiaBank: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/209

ABN Amro: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/149

Credit Suisse: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/150

Standard Chartered: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/152

Telenor: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/158

IBM: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/94

Occidental: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/76

Siemens: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/77

AIG: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/72

UPS: https://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/ISDS/Details/51

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