Something amazing happened this month: the Environment TTIP chapter was leaked in the Guardian and what we find is no real surprise. The chapter does not refer to any obligations or conventions to be ratified, or in fact to any concrete objectives on biodiversity, chemicals, the illegal wildlife trade or fossil fuel emissions. More importantly, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) so-called ‘reform’ is unclear and unsatisfactory. It would still allow corporations to sue governments on any regulations to do with the environment or worker/consumer protection.
To summarise what we know about TTIP so far, the only aspect for which the EU are demanding legally-binding commitments so far is the free export of crude oil and gas resources from the US to the EU. In other words, TTIP is likely to increase exponentially the export and transport of more fossil fuels between the two continents.
With climate change on everyone’s lips in the run-up to Paris, the Corporate Europe Observatory has released a very interesting report on how TTIP and the COP 21 are linked, through the same lobbies! Corporations enjoy a very similar VIP access to drafts with climate and TTIP negotiations where they can send back for re-phrasing or block altogether any section they judge too threatening to their profits.
During her UK tour with Global Justice Now, Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and expert on CETA, TTIP’s ugly brother, urged us to pressure our politicians to adopt the carve-out to the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) mechanism for any legislation on carbon emissions. This would at least allow any possible commitments that might come out of the COP 21 to see the daylight without being crushed by lawsuits. This is the next step to take if we want to believe that COP21 will have any meaning at all in fighting climate change!