350.org is declaring the Trans-Pacific Partnership an “act of climate denial,” arguing that it permits corporations to sue government for climate policies that affect their business.
“It denies the scientific imperative to leave fossil fuels in the ground by granting corporations incredible powers over the sovereign right of countries to fight climate change on their own,” said U.S. policy director Jason Kowalski.
Pierre-Yves Serinet, coordinator of the Quebec Network on Continental Integration, said the TPP could “limit a country’s ability to put in place any agreement it reaches at the Paris climate change summit because of concerns over lawsuits,” Mandel writes. “It creates a chill effect on the state to even create those policies,” Serinet said, noting that 70% of trade deal disputes involving investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms have attacked environment policies.
In early October, ThinkProgress described final negotiations for the TPP as “the culmination of a long-watched train wreck” for climate activists. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warned that global trade deals are about “getting rid of regulations. We’re talking about regulation over the environment, safety, economy, health. The consumers, who are not at the table, get screwed.”
But in mid-October, the Council of Canadians declared conditional victory after the European Parliament adopted a resolution to prevent ISDS challenges to climate actions flowing from a global agreement at the UN climate summit in Paris.
“The central problem is that many of the same countries pledging to take serious action on climate change are also party to, or are aggressively negotiating, trade and investment deals that contain a mechanism that gives large corporations the right to challenge any changes to the current rules under which they operate,” Council Chairperson Maude Barlow said at the time.