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Trade deals should enforce environmental protections as much as commercial clauses – study

Any violations of environmental protections in EU trade agreements should be subject to the same state-to-state dispute settlement as violations of the commercial clauses, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Currently there are practically no ways to enforce and tackle breaches of environmental and sustainability provisions in EU trade agreements, but earlier this month EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced that she wants to make sustainable development chapters of trade agreements more effective.

Published on October 24, 2017 - 00:01

EU wants environmental guarantees from the UK

Europe’s chief negotiator on the UK’s exit from the EU has insisted that Britain must agree to abide by EU environmental rules if it wants access to the internal market. Speaking at a special debate organised by the Group of 10 leading Brussels-based environmental groups (G10) earlier this month, Michel Barnier said the UK must agree to a ‘non-regression clause’ being included in its post-Brexit trade agreement with the 27-member bloc.

Published on May 2, 2018 - 13:46

T&E's position on a Multilateral Investment Court

The pressure of civil society forced the European Commission to rethink its approach on investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS), resulting in the reformed investment court system (ICS), and the current multilateral investment court (MIC). The purported added value of the MIC is to render investment protection more transparent and accountable, and put an end to the controversial ISDS. This briefing outlines T&E's position on MIC.

Published on April 25, 2018 - 17:21

Creating Versailles out of a landfill: after landmark case, what is the fate of the multilateral investment court?

Countries will meet at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law this week, in the UN’s famous New York City building, to discuss modernising the mechanism that enables foreign firms to sue governments for what they perceive as unfair policy measures that can harm future profits. This is commonly known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. The European Commission’s proposal to reform this archaic system will form the core of the discussions.

Published on April 23, 2018 - 17:44

Enforcing environmental rules in trade deals ‘as important as commercial rules’

An enforceable set of sustainable development requirements should be written into all free trade agreements that the EU concludes. That is the recommendation from a paper by T&E which draws on research conducted two years ago when discussions on the ‘TTIP’ EU-US trade deal were at their height.

Published on October 30, 2017 - 19:58

Trade and sustainable development – a chance for innovative thinking

Sustainable development has become one of the EU’s essential goals and is now a guiding principle for both its internal and external policies. As part of this ambition, the European Commission includes specific chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in all free trade agreements (FTA) that it concludes with third country partners. Due to the controversy surrounding trade in recent years (for example, TTIP and CETA), the European Commission has started to recognise that there needs to be stronger coherence between trade and development policies. This paper looks at how the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters could play a crucial role in this.

Published on October 20, 2017 - 14:18

Make UK access to single market conditional on respect for EU environment standards after Brexit – NGO

The EU should make preferential access to the single market conditional on the UK agreeing to respect EU environmental standards and climate targets after Brexit, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The UK government must not be allowed to engage in “environmental dumping” to give Britain an edge over its EU trade partners, the NGO’s report, Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit, has found.

Published on September 28, 2017 - 11:16

Putting the environment at the heart of Brexit

The European Union and the United Kingdom are negotiating an agreement to ensure the UK’s orderly exit out of the Union and to agree on their future relationship. During the current Brexit negotiations, the European Commission has stated multiple times that its primary focus is on citizens and their rights and as negotiations proceed, the interests of business and market stability will be addressed. But where, then, does the environment feature? This report sets out the guiding principles for putting the environment at the heart of the Brexit talks.

Published on September 28, 2017 - 10:00

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