TPPA will limit ability to stop climate change

The Government will sign away the power to do what’s needed to prevent climate change and protect the environment when it signs the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the Green Party said today.

A new expert environmental analysis of the TPPA by Simon Terry, Executive Director of the Sustainability Council of New Zealand, finds that ‘the environment is a casualty’ under the TPPA, because governments can be sued by multinational corporations for environmental regulations such as changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme and limiting fossil fuel exploration.

“The TPPA does little to protect the environment and a lot that will hurt it,” Green Party trade spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.

“The whole point of the TPPA is to promote the interests of foreign investors, so when their interests clash with what’s best for the environment it’s pretty clear that the investors will come out on top.

“The TPPA locks in the ability for polluting companies from overseas to sue the New Zealand Government for regulating to reduce pollution, and the expert analysis shows that the so-called exception for environmental regulation is clearly inadequate.

“The fact that New Zealand can be sued will make future governments think twice before doing anything that could aggravate multinational corporations.

“It’s bad enough that the words ‘climate change’ disappeared from the TPPA sometime between the draft text and the final text, now it’s clear that the TPPA will actually make it harder to prevent climate change.”

The expert analysis is also critical of other environmental issues covered by the TPPA and lists changes to water management rules, logging rules, pesticide regulation, genetic modification, and biodiversity protection as areas that will be constrained.

“The environmental clauses don’t go far enough, have too many loopholes, and don’t have strong enough enforcement mechanisms to keep other countries in line,” Dr Graham said.

“Enforcement of the TPPA’s environmental provisions will rely on goodwill by governments who will have to expend their own resources to chase up their trading partners. I hope New Zealand does exactly that, but there’s no incentive to.

“For example, the TPPA is weak when it comes to legally enforceable prohibitions on trade in wildlife and illegally logged timber.

“While it’s good to see that the TPPA ends subsidies that cause over-fishing, it doesn’t go far enough to combat rampant illegal fishing, shark-finning, and whaling by ships from TPPA countries.

“The expert analysis shows how the TPPA will put strong pressure on countries like New Zealand to accept American genetically modified (GM) products and relax GM restrictions but I think most New Zealanders would agree that New Zealand should have the right to sets our own rules about GM within our borders,” said Dr Graham.

Latest Environment Announcements

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More

Story

More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More

Story

New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More

Story

Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More

Latest Climate Change Announcements

Story

New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting

New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change Jame...
Read More

Story

Greens unveil $297m fund to support sustainable food and farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friend...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More

Petition

Supporting farmers to be part of the solution

Our farmers are already leading the way toward climate-friendly agriculture - but governments must support them to go further, faster.   The Green ...
SIGN ON

Story

Labour’s energy policy shows progress, but more action needed to protect the planet

The Green Party says Labour’s energy policy is a step in the right direction, but the Greens would go further and faster to meaningfully tackle the...
Read More

Story

Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer

Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources M...
Read More

Latest Trade Announcements

International trade

Fair and sustainable trade is critical to the wellbeing of Aotearoa. The Green Party supports trade that is fair, protects human and workers’ righ...
Read More

Story

Green Party continues to oppose CPTPP, puts amendments

The Green Party continue to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) Amendment Bill, which would allow for the ratification of the CP...
Read More

Story

Green Party statement on EU trade negotiations

The Green Party is welcoming the announcement of Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today on the major step forward in negotiations on a...
Read More

Story

CPTPP must be last trade deal of its kind

In the wake of the signing of the CPTPP, the Green Party is calling on all parties in Parliament to rule out signing any future trade deals with IS...
Read More

Story

Green Party statement on TPPA

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand maintains its strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).  “The Green Party has lo...
Read More

Story

Last hour TPP negotiations should not bind the new incoming government

National’s last minute pitch to get the Trans Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP-11) agreement across the line just days before the general election shoul...
Read More