Webinar: Investment protection treaties and the clean energy transition

On 7 September 2022, Volterra Fietta hosted a virtual seminar on “Investment protection treaties and the clean energy transition”.

To combat climate change, the transition towards clean and renewable sources of energy remains a leading priority around the world.  This is particularly so at a time when global events have focused attention on energy security and energy poverty.  How can States promote international investment into clean energy and critical minerals – and how do investment protection treaties help or hinder the clean energy transition?  What important steps should investors take to protect their projects at a time of significant upheaval in the energy sector?  How should investment protection balance foreign investors’ legitimate expectations and States’ sovereign right to regulate the energy sector in light of changing circumstances?  Our multi-disciplinary panel of experts  addressed these questions from a range of perspectives.

The speakers for this seminar were:

Professor Dr Anne van Aaken is Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law and European Law and Director of the Institute of Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg. Alongside her academic work, Professor Dr van Aaken has been an expert consultant for the World Bank, the OECD, UNCTAD, the United Nations and GIZ (the German Development Agency). Her research focuses on international economic law, international governance and behavioural economics. Her previous roles include Professor for Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law and European Law at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland (2006-2018), Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley and Yale Law School. She has held guest professorships at Columbia and NYU as well as in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Dr Ivana Damjanovic is Lecturer in Law at the University of Canberra and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies of the Australian National University. Her professional background encompasses nine years as a career diplomat for Croatia with diplomatic postings in Europe and Australia, work as trade advisor for the Delegation of the European Union to Australia and research and policy roles for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia. Dr Damjanovic’s research is interdisciplinary, encompassing issues of law and politics in the international investment global regime, with particular focus on the European Union and its external investment, trade and climate change policies. Dr Damjanovic holds a PhD from the Australian National University, a Master of Economic Science from University College Dublin (Ireland) and an integrated Bachelor and Master of Laws degree from the University of Zagreb (Croatia). Dr Damjanovic has guest lectured at universities in Belgium, Bhutan, China, Croatia and Indonesia. She has provided training to the Australian government and to industry stakeholders on EU trade and investment law and policy. She is admitted to practice as a lawyer in Australia.

Dr Andrei Belyi (Balesene OÜ, Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland).  Dr Belyi is an Adjunct Professor in Energy Law and Policy at the University of Eastern Finland.  He is also a founder of the energy consulting firm Balesene OU, based in Tallinn, Estonia.  In 2005 he worked for the Energy Charter Secretariat, and subsequently produced a number of publications on the Energy Charter process, particularly on the positions adopted by Russia towards the Treaty.  In 2008-9 he participated in policy discussions in Moscow whilst advocating against Russia’s withdrawal from provisional application of the Treaty.  In 2011, he provided a consultancy report on the Draft Convention on energy security (an alternative to the ECT, proposed by the Russian Federation), and also advised EU Delegations in Moscow and Kiev on the subject.  In 2017 he acted as an external expert to the Energy Charter Conference in Askhgabad, Turkmenistan.

Mr Marcus Williams is the Global Head for Energy and Extractive Industries at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. He has been in this role since September 2015, prior to which he held the position of Lead Operations Officer. From 2004-2014, Mr Williams was Adviser to MIGA’s Executive Vice President with responsibilities that included overseeing corporate strategy, Board relations and corporate communications, and from 2004 to 2006 as Chief of Staff. Before this, Mr Williams held several positions in the World Bank, including in the Corporate Strategy Group working with the World Bank Group President and senior management on the Group’s long-term strategy and business agenda. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, he spent two years with Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates covering the international energy markets. Mr Williams is a UK national and is based at MIGA’s headquarters in Washington DC.

Mr Graham Coop is Partner at Volterra Fietta.  Mr Coop is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and as a solicitor with higher rights of audience (Civil) in England and Wales.  His thirty-year legal career includes seven years as General Counsel to the Energy Charter Secretariat between 2004 and 2011.  Mr Coop advises and represents companies, governments and international organisations on international dispute resolution and public international law, with a particular focus on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure and banking sectors.  He has appeared as counsel, advocate and expert before a wide range of international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, ICSID, the PCA and the ICC.   He is on the UK Attorney General’s list of public international law practitioners.

This event was moderated by Ms Angela Ha, Senior Associate at Volterra Fietta.  Ms Ha is an Australian-qualified lawyer.  She advises governments and companies on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious public international law issues.  Ms Ha regularly acts for both investors and States in investor-State arbitrations involving the energy, mining, financial services, construction, manufacturing, tourism and media sectors.  Ms Ha has also acted for States before the International Court of Justice in cases involving maritime boundary delimitation and international human rights law.  Alongside her legal practice, Ms Ha has lectured in public international law, international investment law and international energy law at University College London and SOAS University of London.

For any queries regarding the content of the seminar, please email