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TTIP : environmental aspects

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© Alex White / Fotolia

The Final Report of the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth from February 2013, suggested that the trade negotiations take into account the work done in the chapter concerning environment in EU and US trade agreements. In its resolution of 23 May 2013 on EU trade and investment negotiations with the US, the European Parliament, while recognising the comparable and high environmental protection, insisted on the preservation of high environmental ambitions. DG Trade of the European Commission has published position papers on various issues, such as ” Trade and sustainable development ” underlining that “Sustainable development aims at bringing about economic prosperity through and with a high level of environmental protection and social equity and cohesion”, ” Motor vehicles ” ( criticised by some NGOs)

Office Of The United States Trade Representative (USTR, in the document: U.S. Objectives, U.S. Benefits In the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A Detailed View, published in March 2014, stated that US seeks “to obtain, consistent with U.S. priorities and objectives, appropriate commitments by the EU to protect the environment, including conserving natural resources, and to effectively enforce environmental laws, and seek opportunities to address environmental issues of mutual interest”.. In June 2014 USTR published a Request for Comments Concerning an Environmental Review of the Proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.

Environmental NGOs have been critical to the inclusion of the imports of oil and as from the US considering this a “climate denial, pure and simple” and say that this would lower European environmental safeguards.

In a European Parliament debate , 15 July 2014, the Trade Commissioner reiterated that the TTIP should not lower the protection of the environment, consumers or workers in Europe, and that “a US multinational will not be able to successfully sue for damages for lost future profit just because a parliament introduces a new law with the legitimate aim of protecting the environment or public health”, what was questioned by speakers from a couple of political groups. In a statement at the end of the sixth round of negotiation, 18 July 2014, EU’s Chief TTIP Negotiator, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, underlined that “nothing will be done which could lower or endanger the protection of the environment”.

Overviews

Legal Implications of TTIP for the Acquis Communautaire in ENVI Relevant Sectors / Ecologic institute & Lorenzo Vicario, Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy, October 2013
This study discusses the potential impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement on the EU acquis in the areas of the environment and food safety. It recommends, in particular, that the European Parliament pay very close attention to the precise wording of provisions regarding the environment, food safety, and investment set out in the final text to ensure that both parties are able to maintain the environmental and consumer protection standards they deem appropriate, as provided for in the European Commission’s negotiating mandate

EurActiv has published (February 2014) an overview: TTIP ‘challenged’ by environmental critics, EU says

Analysis

A Brave New Transatlantic Partnership: the social & environmental consequences of the proposed EU-US trade deal / Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), October 4th 2013
As the second round of negotiations on the EU-US trade agreement kick off in Brussels next week, a new report published by members of the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), including CEO, reveals the true human and environmental costs of the proposed deal. The report shows that the promises of job creation and growth are illusions; and that the real impetus behind a deal comes from major EU and US corporations that have joined forces to remove as many labour, health and environmental standards as possible in a devastating race to the bottom.

The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement : What’s at Stake for Communities and the Environment / The Sierra Club, Juni 2013
U.S. – EU Regulatory Differences – Environment and Climate Change – Food Safety and Agriculture – Chemical Safety – Increasing Natural Gas Exports and Fracking

The New Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A Focus on the Environment / R. Andreas Kraemer, Christiane Gerstetter, Ecologic Institute, 13 June 2013

Stakeholder views

German Federal Ministry of Environment

Bedenken gegen TTIP Internes Papier zeigt Berlins Skepsis zum Freihandelsabkommen / von Alexander Hagelüken, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 27. Februar 2014
Zu massiver Einfluss der USA, Verwässerung von Standards im Umwelt- und Verbraucherschutz: Ein internes Papier zeigt, wie groß in der Bundesregierung die Skepsis gegenüber dem Transatlantik-Freihandelsabkommen ist.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency that was created in 1972 by Congress in the Consumer Product Safety Act . In that law, Congress directed the Commission to “protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.” The CPSC has jurisdiction over about 15,000 types of consumer products and is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children

The U.S.-EU Beef Hormone Dispute, December 6, 2010

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Toward a Toxic Partnership: A critique of the EU position on chemicals under the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement with the US , July 2014

Friends of Earth

TTIP bad for agriculture, health and the environment says U.S. and EU civil society / 10 July 2014

No fracking way , 6 March 2014
This briefing reveals how a major trade deal currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, threatens the power of governments to protect communities, citizens and the environment from risky new technologies such as fracking

Public Citizen

TAFTA as Monsanto’s Plan B: A Backdoor to Genetically Modified Food , 2013
European and U.S. agribusiness corporations, in their formal demands issued to TAFTA negotiators, have been remarkably candid in naming the specific U.S. and EU GMO regulations that they would like to see dismantled via TAFTA

TAFTA Studies Project Tiny Economic Gains, Ignore Major Costs from Gutting Environmental, Health, Financial and Other Safeguards , 2013
That is why studies focused on the impact of TAFTA’s possible tariff reduction have produced meager estimates of any economic impact.

Sierra Club

A leaked European Union trade document , published today by the Washington Post , reveals the dangers of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership for communities and our climate.
The document, similar to a previously leaked EU proposal for a chapter on energy which I wrote about here , makes it clear that the EU is looking to use this secretly negotiated trade pact as a back-door channel to get automatic, unfettered access to U.S. fracked gas and oil

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