Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


US Takes Hard Position On Climate Change In TPPA


US Takes Hard Position On Climate Change, Biodiversity & Indigenous Rights In TPPA

Proposals from the US on climate change and biodiversity, tabled as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement talks resume this week in Singapore, have been leaked by Peru environment group RedGE.


The two provisions are alternatives to text in the environment chapter that Wikileaks posted in February.


‘The US keeps referring to this as a gold standard agreement for the 21stcentury. But its position on climate change and indigenous rights is Neanderthal’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.

‘The US can’t even bring itself to use the phrase “climate change”’, Kelsey observed.


Its proposal seeks to replace the Article entitled “Trade and Climate Change” with one headed ‘’Transition to a low-emissions economy”.


‘The existing proposal was hardly robust. But the US wants to remove altogether any reference to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and commitments to cooperate on climate change initiatives.’

‘Whether that is to appease the climate deniers in the Tea Party, whose votes he needs to get the deal through Congress, or some other reason, Obama will be slammed by environmental groups that are strong allies of the Democrats.’

The US also wants to gut the Article on Trade and Biodiversity by removing the more progressive elements and promoting rights, presumably of corporations, to access genetic resources.


The leaked environment chapter was already criticised for failing to meet the obligations of New Zealand and others to indigenous peoples under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and related instruments. It also fell well short of the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations in the WAI-262 claim on indigenous knowledge and resources.


The US is not a signatory to those instruments and opposes any provisions that are explicitly or implicitly linked to them. Its proposal removes a commitment to ‘encourage’ the sharing of benefits from using genetic resources with indigenous peoples in a fair and equitable way.


It also wants to drop the clause that recognises states have sovereign rights over their natural resources and the authority to decide who has access to their genetic resources. That clause also says access to genetic resources for exploitation should be subject to prior informed consent of the state that provides them.


‘New Zealand has already taken the low road in supporting a weak environment text’ according to Professor Kelsey. ‘It has to stand firm with the other governments this week and tell the US to bury its proposals in the mausoleum where they belong’.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

State Sector: Government To Apply Pay Equity Principles

Legal changes are not yet in effect but the State Services Commission, on behalf of the government, and the Council of Trade Unions on behalf of unions, have agreed to apply the principles to current pay equity claims. More>>

ALSO:

Throwing Stoners: English Blames Failed Drug Tests For Unemployment

Bill English’s diversionary tactic of condemning of a generation of Kiwi workers as a bunch of drug-takers cannot hide his government’s failure to create opportunities for decent work, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news