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

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome Three Waters recommendations

The Green Party welcomes the recommendations of the Three Waters independent working group and urges the Government to seriously consider the repor...
Read More

Story

Green Party says Government needs to do better to protect our drinking water

The Green Party is calling on the Government to improve environmental standards so every New Zealander has access to clean, healthy drinking water.
Read More

Story

The time to protect our oceans is now

The Green Party is calling on the Government to support a strong global treaty at the United Nations to protect our oceans, as Greenpeace hands ove...
Read More

Latest Climate Change Announcements

Story

Agricultural emissions proposal falls short

The He Waka Eke Noa agricultural emissions pricing proposal leaves more questions than answers, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: James Shaw Budget Speech

Mr Speaker, It has taken four-and-a-half years to even start to turn the legacy of inaction and neglect from the last time they were in Government ...
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens celebrate landmark investment in climate action

Landmark week for climate action concludes with climate budget Largest ever investment in climate action one of many Green Party wins throughout B...
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Govt must build on half price fare extension and make public transport free

Green Party welcomes extension to half price fares Permanent half price fares for Community Services Card holders includes many students, which he...
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens welcome winter energy support and funding for community energy

New cost of living payment closely aligned to Green Party policy to expand the Winter Energy Payment Extension and improvement of Warmer Kiwi Home...
Read More

Story

Landmark climate plan secures path to net zero

Emissions Reduction Plan prepares New Zealand for the future, ensuring country is on track to meet first emissions budget, securing jobs, and unloc...
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