Des Pensable copyright 2015
It was announced this morning that the Atlanta conference to finalise the TPP agreement between the 12 countries had reached agreement. NZ could sell a little more dairy to Canada, USA and elsewhere. Australia was feted as brave by our local media by forcing the USA to back down a small amount on rules designed to disadvantage the third world and make more profits for drug companies. But nobody at Atlanta discussed how the TPP might affect mitigation of Global Warming- the world’s most pressing problem.
Most world trade is carried by ships who just so happen to use the world’s dirtiest fuel for their engines. They use bunker oil which is the leftover gunk after everything else is extracted from crude oil. Fifteen of the world’s biggest container ships contribute as much pollution as the ALL the world’s cars.
“New research showing that in one year, a single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars. The low grade bunker fuel used by the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount of sulfur compared to diesel fuel used in automobiles. The recent boom in the global trade of manufactured goods has also resulted in a new breed of super sized container ship which consume fuel not by the gallons, but by tons per hour, and shipping now accounts for 90% of global trade by volume.
“The environmental impact of shipping includes greenhouse gas emissions, acoustic, and oil pollution. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping were equal to 2.7% of the global human-made emissions in 2007 and expects them to rise by as much as 2 to 3 times by 2050 if no action is taken.”
The TPP will substantially increase Global Warming as the TPP proposes NO carbon emissions offsets to account for the increased global trade. The secret environmental chapter of the TPP was leaked by Wikileaks who stated.
”the Environment Chapter does not include enforcement mechanisms serving the defence of the environment; it is vague and weak, and adheres to the lowest common denominator of environmental interests.” and
“The Environment Chapter clearly shows the intention to first and foremost protect trade, not the environment. The principle is spelled out in this draft that local environmental laws are not to obstruct trade or investment between the countries.”
Their assessment of the section was that it has no binding clauses that will allow any country to create any laws that will protect their environment and there is NO MENTION of Global Warming or Climate Change.
Environmental groups in the USA and Canada have warned their governments that the TPP could have disastrous effects on Global warming but the governments don’t seem to want to know. The corporate concept of profit before people rules.
The Friends of the Earth have pointed out that the TPP will hinder or counter efforts of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a new plan to address the global challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, poor health, and poverty.
At the moment the primary concern by the worlds scientists at the December Paris Climate Change conference is that Global warming is affecting the oceans adversely from absorption of heat and CO2 causing the oceans to become more acidic but they haven’t yet realised the danger from the world shipping industry which is one of the world’s biggest polluters and generally unregulated.
Perhaps the most dangerous part of the TPP is the ISDS clause in the TPP. This allows transnational corporates to sue governments in secret courts outside the country if they perceive that any law brought in by the country’s parliament will affect their profits. If Australia does not address this problem then future governments both federal and state will be threatened by transnational corporations for hundreds of billions in damages.
Canada a country already heavily sued by transnational corporations using the ISDS clause in the NAFTA agreement has recognised that the ISDS clause in the TPP will hinder progress at the Paris conference.
The TPP will also affect Australians in many other ways. The solution is clear we must use every effort to block implementation of the TPP in upper house of the Australian government. The Greens, Labor and independents have a duty to all Australians not to allow the TPP agreement to become law.
Australian politicians need to think of not only Australians but the world’s people for once rather than favouring a declining fossil fuel industry. We need to bravely enter the new world of renewable energy and environmentally sustainable government. It’s a big ask as we haven’t had any real leaders in Australia for some time but we can always hope.
You can read my earlier blogs on the TPP here
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