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.
The Board of sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has today announced William Todts as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Jos Dings, who this week leaves the position after 13 years.
A study by the respected Öko-Institut in Germany says Europe needs to slash its transport emissions by 94% by 2050. That's what it takes to avoid catastrophic 2 degree warming. Meanwhile, EU governments – particularly Italy and Poland – are trying to destroy the already inadequate target of -30% by 2030.
EU governments should level the playing field between companies in countries taking action on climate change and those in countries that are not by levying special import fees, according to a new report on how trade policy can support climate action. A carbon border tax adjustment (CBTA) would be based on the price of carbon – in existing carbon markets such as the EU emissions trading system – and should be levied on goods and services from countries which do not put an equivalent price on carbon, the report by the Trade Justice Movement and Transport & Environment (T&E) says.
Since the 1990s, international climate agreements have largely taken a country-by-country approach to mitigating climate change. However, in recent years, the conclusion of numerous bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements has led to an exponential growth in the global flows of goods and capital across borders. This growth has translated into a significant increase in emissions that cannot be bound to a single country. Thus, actions designed to tackle climate change require a new set of tools and strategies. The following joint-report offers a set of complementary options that could be implemented to tackle climate impacts.
The rapid growth of renewable energy has reached a new milestone, with renewable sources contributing more than two-thirds of new power added to the world’s electricity supply in 2016. The figures come from the International Energy Agency, whose director described them as ‘the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics’.
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.
The following document accompanies T&E’s response to the European Commission public consultation to support the evaluation of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET).
This short response is to be read alongside our response to the multiple choice consultation question.
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.