Leaked: environmental chapter of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty

Most of our coverage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has focused on its Internet-regulating provisions. But the treaty -- which has been negotiated in unprecedented secrecy, with heavy-handed shoves from the US Trade Representative -- also has disturbing implications for the environment. Today, Wikileaks published a leaked consolidated draft of TPP's environment chapter, which sets out the ways in which corporations will be able to prevent countries from passing environmental laws that interfere with profit making.

Today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs' Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators' summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013.

The Environment Chapter covers what the Parties propose to be their positions on: environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity and fishing stocks; and trade and investment in 'environmental' goods and services. It also outlines how to resolve enviromental disputes arising out of the treaty's subsequent implementation. The draft Consolidated Text was prepared by the Chairs of the Environment Working Group, at the request of TPP Ministers at the Brunei round of the negotiations.

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Environment Consolidated Text

Notable Replies

  1. For those seeking an alternative voice, the Green Shadow Cabinet covers Wikileaks and the TPP, exposing efforts to put private interests before those of humanity, civilization, and the planet. Many happy mutants will share its values.

  2. Ygret says:

    I read parts of the document. The part that really stands out to me is the way the arbitration panel of 3 is selected: the parties, which will mainly consist of a foreign corporation and a state, get to choose one arbitrator each. The final arbitrator is picked by the corporation from a list of three provided by the state. However, if none of the three are acceptable to the corporation, they can pick three new potential arbitrators and the state MUST pick one of those three. This means that the corporation can always stack the arbitration panel with people sympathetic to their views.

    Not even getting into the question of how these fascists think its appropriate for unelected arbitrators to judge environmental laws enacted by nation states, this selection method shows how the TPP breaks in favor of corporate interests over national ones.

    Corporate power has gotten way out of control. Agreements like this just show how complete is the power grab they are going for.

  3. God damn it. Every single day Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake trilogy is seeming more and more prescient.

  4. JonS says:

    Yeah. Superficially that seems okay, but the way it'd actally work out?

    Behemoth Corp: We pick Augustus "Tree Killer" Moneybags as our arbitrator.
    Govt of Microland: We pick Green "Greenie" McGreenersen as ours. For the third we propose either Judge Steve "Evenhanded" Luke, Phil "Fairminded" McCracken, or Sister Mary "Teresa" Terrence.
    Behemoth Corp: Nope. They all suck. Here's a counter trio for you to select from: Carl "Coal Burner" Crispin III, Toni "Toxic Waste" Frauderston, or David "DRM" Dunlapson. Make your choice. Heh.
    Govt of Microland: !? wibble

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

8 more replies