Citizen Action Monitor

TPP would make it significantly harder to prevent catastrophic climate change, says Naomi Klein

“The expansion of such agreements has gone hand in hand with the accelerating rise in greenhouse gas emissions.”

No 1510 Posted by fw, November 13, 2015

“This deal—the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP—has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” It’s the latest and largest in a series of international agreements that have attacked working women and men, fueled mindless and carbon-intensive consumption, and prevented governments from enforcing their own laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions. NAFTA-esque deals around the world have been a disaster for democracy, good jobs, and environmental justice.”Naomi Klein

Recently, this blog has focused primarily on the disastrous terms and conditions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The articles posted here are carefully chosen to examine the TPP from every conceivable angle, citing evidence-based sources presented by reputable, credible experts.

Since prime minister Trudeau and his trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, have generously extended an open invitation to all Canadians to submit their thoughts on the TPP trade deal, I intend to take them at their word and intermittently email them summaries of and links to most of my TPP posts to help them arrive at an informed decision. And should they decide to reject the best anti-TPP evidence I have on offer, and approve this flawed trade deal, they risk losing considerable credibility among responsibly informed Canadians. For they will have clearly demonstrated to Canadians that protection and profits of the 1% takes precedence over the wellbeing of the rest of us.

On a related note, I am still waiting to receive, at the very least, an acknowledgment of receipt of a letter that I sent on October 25 – by email and by post — to then Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau.

NOTE: Klein’s brief article, reposted below, was originally prepared as part of a MoveOn.org petition action. However, for the purpose of this post, all references to signing the petition and stopping Obama’s fast track push have been removed. To read the original piece, click on the following linked title.

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The TPP Is a Grave Threat to Climate Action by Naomi Klein, Common Dreams, May 22, 2015

Existing trade deals and World Trade Organization rules are already being used to block subsidies for renewable energy and other supports for the clean energy sector. And the expansion of such agreements has gone hand in hand with the accelerating rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

I’m writing because President Obama and the U.S. Congress need to hear from you before they rush toward approving a massive new trade agreement that would benefit corporations and undercut serious efforts to fight climate change.

This deal—the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP—has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” It’s the latest and largest in a series of international agreements that have attacked working women and men, fueled mindless and carbon-intensive consumption, and prevented governments from enforcing their own laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions. NAFTA-esque deals around the world have been a disaster for democracy, good jobs, and environmental justice.

Trade deals such as NAFTA and the TPP bestow corporations with outrageous new powers, including the right to directly challenge participating governments for enacting any measures that jeopardize their profits. These corporate grievances are heard by unelected, unaccountable trade tribunals—and as history has shown, the energy and mining giants will seize on them to try to gut all manner of environmental laws.

Existing trade deals and World Trade Organization rules are already being used to block subsidies for renewable energy and other supports for the clean energy sector. And the expansion of such agreements has gone hand in hand with the accelerating rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

In short, this corporate free trade model that the TPP represents isn’t only destabilizing our economies—it’s also a key reason why our governments have failed to come to grips with the climate crisis.

History tells a clear story of poorly written trade agreements spelling disaster for the environment. In 2009, Canada’s largest province, Ontario, passed the Green Energy and Economy Act—an ambitious plan to curb fossil fuels. For four years, it increased production and use of renewable energy, created 31,000 jobs, and by 2013, only one coal plant remained in operation.

That’s where the good news ends.

Because of Ontario’s attempts to build its local wind and solar industries, Canada was challenged for violating trade obligations—and soon, a core element of the province’s green energy plan was scrapped. The message was clear for governments everywhere: If you take robust steps to fight climate change that threaten multinational corporations, you’ll be challenged—and beaten—in unelected trade tribunals.

After years of runaway emissions growth, scientists warn that this is our last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change. The TPP would make that job significantly harder. Yet, the U.S. Senate could vote this week to rush through the TPP without debate or amendment.

The world is watching. Allowing corporations to challenge democratic laws condemns us all to an unlivable future. Don’t continue this downward spiral—reject the TPP.

Thank you. Keep up the fight.

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