One of the TPP’s 29 chapters of draft text covers the environment.  It is highly contentious between the TPP parties and one of the most resisted elements is the US proposal for certain UN agreements to be made enforceable through the TPP.

A first point of contention is the highly selective list of just seven of the more than 230 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) listed with UNEP.  The Montreal Protocol (ozone) would be covered, but not the Climate Convention.  And three highly specialist marine conservation agreements would be subject to TPP measures but not the Fish Stocks treaty.

At a deeper level, the concern is that having the TPP act as the enforcement mechanism for UN agreements sets up the notion that it can be an alternative environmental governance forum.  That global commons issues can be resolved through a regional trade agreement.

The risk is that parties would then go ‘forum shopping’ to seek out ‘regulatory discounts’.  They could use a new partial forum to bypass tougher global forums.

Key documents

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