Thursday, October 08, 2015

Does TPP Sabotage Climate Change Action?

Clause 20 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement sounds pretty good. "The 12 Parties agree to effectively enforce their environmental laws; and not to weaken environmental laws in order to encourage trade or investment." What's not to like there?

All is not as it seems.  While the TPP purports to uphold existing environmental laws, it may leave signatory nations incapable of passing new environmental enactments.  Cracking down on carbon emissions, new carbon taxes, upgraded cap and trade schemes could all run afoul of corporate polluters who could sue for injunctions or compensation.


Les Smith said...

Quite true.
Volkswagen's recent embarrassment couldn't have happened if the treaty had been in effect years ago, simply because regulations such as the ones they cheated to avoid would be unthinkable.
This, of course, is the central intent of the whole thing.

The Mound of Sound said...

And notice that Harper steadfastly delayed constantly promised legislation to regulate energy sector emissions. Guess he won't have to now that his hands are tied by TPP.

crf said...

I don't know if that is true, Mound.

Maybe we'll just have to wait to find out.

But, generally, I think the idea is that if the government passes a regulation, it must apply it equally to both Canadian good/services and imports.

Danneau said...

Note that little things like the revisions to the Navigable Waters Act have consistently weakened environmental protections over the last decade. This is also true, I think, in other jurisdictions, thereby setting the bar pretty low for challenges under ISDS.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Chris- I think you should look at this: