In its more than 6,000 pages of binding rules, the TPPA fails to even mention the words “climate change” - a clear sign it is not “a 21st-century trade agreement,” as some have claimed. On this page we look at the impact the TPPA will have on our environment and global climate change.
WHAT WE GET:
➜ Parties are required to implement provisions in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to protect and conserve iconic species, such as rhinos and elephants. BUT this UN treaty does not provide a legally enforceable prohibition on trade in illegally sourced timber, wildlife, and marine resources and the TPPA does not fix this.
➜ Two forms of fishing subsidy that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing are eliminated under the TPPA, but no similar progress has been made on the overarching issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
AND WHAT WE GIVE UP:
➜ The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) rules could be used to sue the government if increased emissions charges were levied under the Emissions Trading Scheme - or if the mining of fossil fuels was restricted in some way. As a result the ISDS provisions will likely have a ‘chilling effect’ on a government’s willingness to undertake progressive environmental reform, favouring the retention of low standards when these need to rise drastically now.
➜ The TPPA provides assistance to GMO exporting countries by making it harder for other countries to independently regulate GM foods. A combination of information requirements, the TPPA’s dispute procedures, and new working groups, together amount to a significant new level of pressure on TPPA governments to accept GM foods under ‘mutual recognition’ standards – those of the exporter.
➜ Procurement rules restrict government autonomy to mandate “green purchasing,” such as requiring energy to come from renewable sources in government contracts. Such policies could be challenged for having the unintended “effect of creating an unnecessary obstacle to trade.”
Our environment is a casualty under TPPA
(It's not like we need air to live or anything...)
“The TPP poses a panoply of threats to our climate and environment. The weak conservation provisions of the TPP environment chapter do not change the fact that, under the TPP, governments would lose autonomy to enact policies to address the climate crisis, while corporations would gain new powers to challenge climate and environmental policies.” - Sierra Club Report: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement threatens our climate