Press Release

MEPs fail to take new trade powers seriously by waving flawed Canada-EU deal through – NGO

January 12, 2017

MEPs today missed a vital opportunity to redflag the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) over its flawed investment tribunal system and toothless environment provisions, green group Transport & Environment has said. Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee rejected the rapporteur’s opinion that was highly critical of the deal and its impact on human health and the planet.

The agreement, which has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament as well as national parliaments, would set up special investment tribunals thal only hear cases brought by corporations, not by citizens or their governments. It would allow companies to bypass national courts to pursue financial payouts from states and thereby threaten measures taken in the public interest, such as policies favouring renewable energy.

CETA also does nothing to encourage climate mitigation measures, as called for in the Paris climate agreement which was signed by both Canada and the EU, an analysis by T&E and ClientEarth showed. It also contains no enforcement mechanisms that could bind the EU and Canada to uphold the already weak environment provisions.

Cecile Toubeau, T&E director of better trade and regulation, said: “A majority of the environment committee today ran from their responsibility on CETA just when the European Parliament needed to take its new powers on trade issues seriously. Next month the full parliament should do its job and reject a trade agreement that’s bad for citizens and the environment.”

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