The final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was finally released on Thursday. This has confirmed the “worst nightmares” of environmental groups, with no mention of climate change in its lone environment chapter and weak enforcement mechanisms.
The TPP is the biggest global trade deal in 20 years, involving 12 countries in the Pacific region which collectively represent over 40 per cent of world GDP.
Matthew Rimmer, Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the Queensland University of Technology, told Fairfax Media it looks like US trade officials have been “green-washing” the agreement.
“The agreement has poor coverage of environmental issues, and weak enforcement mechanisms. There is only limited coverage of biodiversity, conservation, marine capture fisheries, and trade in environmental services. The final text of the chapter does not even mention ‘climate change’ – the most pressing global environmental issue in the world.”
Controversially, the deal includes a clause giving foreign companies the right to sue Australian governments if they introduce laws they say have harmed their investments.
Dr Patricia Ranald from the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said the “safeguards” Mr Robb claimed he had won to prevent foreign tobacco companies suing Australian governments for pursuing anti-smoking policies do not appear strong enough.
“The general ‘safeguards’ in the text are similar to those in other recent agreements which have not prevented cases against health and environmental laws,” Dr Ranald said.
The Age: Gareth Hutchens: 5 Nov 2015
Key Words: Climate Change, OzPolitics
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