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The only way to keep the rise in global temperatures within the limit set in Paris – "well below 2 C" higher than preindustrial levels – is to shift capital away from fossil fuels and toward zero-carbon projects.Rather than investing in efficient housing, zero-carbon mobility, renewable energy and better land-use systems, these governments say one thing but still do another.Much of the problem can be traced to bilateral investment treaties and investment rules embedded within broader trade pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Energy Charter Treaty, and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.This has handcuffed governments seeking to limit fossil-fuel extraction. Governments should start by overhauling or exiting the Energy Charter Treaty, the world's only energy-specific investment pact. The ECT's investment protections and lack of climate provisions are no longer appropriate. Fossil-fuel projects could also be exempted from investment protection in new environmental treaties, such as the Global Pact for the Environment presented by French President Emmanuel Macron to the U.N. General Assembly in September.Rebalancing the global investment regime is only the first step toward a zero-carbon economy.
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