Trans-Pacific Partnership ‘full of empty promises’ for the environment


The United States Trade Representative has hailed the TPP as a ‘historic opportunity to advance conservation and environmental protection across the Asia-Pacific’, but it’s been described as a ‘ticking time-bomb’ for climate policy.

The US government says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which was signed by ministers from the 12 member countries today in New Zealand has environmental stewardship as a core value. Critics say the agreement will be a disaster for the environment and will make governments more vulnerable to lawsuits by corporations that allege a loss of profits because of a particular law or policy.

Under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, rulings on these lawsuits will be made by the members of unaccountable panels, sitting outside of any existing court system, and there is no appeal procedure.

Friends of the Earth International’s economic justice coordinator, Sam Cossar-Gilbert, says that, because of the ISDS mechanism, the TPP is “a ticking time-bomb” for climate policy.

“Many government policies needed to address global warming will be subject to suits brought before biased, non-transparent, and undemocratic international investment tribunals.”

Friends of the Earth says the environment chapter only deals with a narrow range of conservation measures, is largely unenforceable, and is substantially weaker than trade deal conservation provisions negotiated by former president George W. Bush.

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