Trade Trumps Climate Change Action At COP21

Sujata Dey, Huffington Post, 11/12/15

...And through it, we are piecing together how trade agreements such as the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are getting in the way of climate action.

Trade agreements affect how we choose our energy; how much power our states have to make laws to protect the environment; how much input oil and mining companies have in determining our regulations; and whether the food we eat comes from a large-scale, pesticide-ridden factory farm or from a local family farm.

Trade agreements boost export-oriented farming, which is more economically efficient but troublesome in its use of pesticides, GMOs and fossil fuels to transport food to other markets. This is the case with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), under which two-million Mexican farmers lost their livelihoods.

With CETA, and the TPP, we are sacrificing our supply management system, the very system that protects small family farms and enables food to be produced locally. We have seen, too, how trade agreements also enable companies to loosen regulations on the environment and on food and safety standards.  Under CETA, companies will meet to discuss regulations, before parliamentarians or the rest of us even see them.

Trade agreements are being used an instrument by big oil and big mining to stop our efforts to combat climate change. A recent report indicates how TTIP, the EU-US agreement and CETA will pave the way for polluters.