Trade deals threatening our climate

A major barrier to tackling climate change is the influence which unelected corporations have over our political systems. The Campaign against Climate Change campaigns alongside other civil society organisations to fight threats to transparency, real democracy, and human rights, both in the UK and internationally. CETA is a trade deal which is a significant threat to the climate as well as to other social and democratic freedoms.

Update: CETA voted through by European Parliament 

On 15 Febuary, MEPs overwhelmingly backed the deal with 408 in favour and 254 against. However, it still has to be ratified by 38 national and regional parliaments, and the Netherlands still has the power to block the plan if it decides to hold an advisory national referendum on the agreement, and the country votes against it. For more information visit the European Commission's website.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Not just a trade deal: this treaty would boost corporate power at the expense of our climate and environment, human and workers’ rights, sovereignty and democracy. The main parts of this agreement are ‘regulatory harmonisation’ and ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS). ‘Regulatory harmonisation’ means a regulatory race to the bottom, reducing regulation down to the lowest, most corporate-friendly levels. ISDS allows transnational corporations to sue governments directly for any moves such as new legislation that will negatively affect the corporation’s future profits. Where ISDS has been included in trade deals elsewhere, it’s shown to have given corporations the power to block legislation or get big pay-outs from governments trying to protect their citizens or the environment.

It was scheduled so that June 10th would be when MEPs voted for or against TTIP. However, it got postponed and now the deal seems very unlikely, with many people involved in the agreement saying that it has failed. With the Brexit vote, it has halted the deals progress almost completely, especially with more EU member countries considering a referendum. Successful demonstrations and protests have also helped show how unwelcomed the deal was. However, a new agreement has been created which is very similar to TTIP...

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

This agreement is aimed at liberalisation of "services" and is being negotiated in secret between 50 countries, including the UK. TiSA includes a "ratchet clause" which makes the privatisation of services almost irreversible. Since the deal is aimed at services, it means it will not only affect finance, insurance, telecommunications, but also railways, the post office and parts of the NHS. For more information, please read Nick Dearden's article, in the Independent, which explains more about TiSA and why we should be more concerned.

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Watch Campaign against Climate Change activist and academic Jonathan Neale's rousing speech about the TTIP's possible impacts on the environment.