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

Story

Govt trashing nature for its industry mates

The Government’s repeal of the Natural and Built Environment Act is rushed, ideologically motivated, and will be hugely damaging to the health of o...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls for stronger action by Auckland Council to protect urban trees and native forest

The Green Party is calling on Auckland Council to do more to protect urban trees and housing developer Aedifice Property Group to restore and repla...
Read More

Story

You *wood* not believe it: Greens secure win for urban trees

The Green Party’s advocacy has secured an amendment to the Natural and Built Environment Bill at a crucial stage of the Parliamentary process to en...
Read More

Story

Forestry sector must compensate for slash damage

The Green Party welcomes today’s release of the report of the Ministerial Inquiry into slash and sediment, and are clear that the forestry industry...
Read More

Story

Greens launch petition to protect conservation lands from mining by Mineralogy International Limited

The Green Party has today launched a petition calling for conservation land to be protected from mining by big overseas companies such as Mineralog...
Read More

Story

National's drought of ideas won't help farmers facing climate change

Christopher Luxon and the National Party have once again presented another lazy, back-of-the-napkin policy to Aotearoa.
Read More

Latest Climate Change Announcements

Story

Govt slams on the brakes of climate action

The scrapping of the Clean Car Discount is an act of climate vandalism - and the Green Party is calling on the Government to release all the advice...
Read More

Story

Luxon’s free pass to the fossil fuel industry needs to be stopped

Chris Luxon is giving big oil and gas corporations a free pass at a time when countries all over the world agree to transition away from fossil fuels.
Read More

Story

Greens launch petition to save oil and gas ban

The Green Party has launched a petition to save the ban on oil and gas exploration.
Read More

Story

Green voice crucial for climate action

The Green Party is today welcoming Labour’s climate manifesto, but is clear that much more will need to be done to tackle the climate crisis.
Read More

Story

Climate future of communities on the line this election

Green Party co leader James Shaw attended a South Dunedin Future street meeting today to discuss local responses to climate change.
Read More

Story

National’s climate pledge a joke

Today’s pledge from the National Party to deliver net zero carbon by 2050 is a bad-faith, disingenuous, and empty promise.
Read More

Latest Trade Announcements

Story

Joint Statement: NZ and EU free trade agreement opportunity to support climate friendly and equitable future

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and the European Greens have published a joint statement calling for the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement to supp...
Read More

Story

Transform arms export regime to strengthen human rights protections

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is calling on the Government to urgently introduce legislation to better regulate the export of military pr...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome US support for People’s Vaccine

The Green Party strongly supports today’s commitment by the United States joining the call to waive the morally indefensible pharmaceutical patents...
Read More

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