COP 21 and Free Trade: Good News From Europe

Source: Council of Canadians, Flickr

Source: Council of Canadians, Flickr

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to protect government action on climate change, to be agreed upon at COP21, from being subject to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) challenges.

ISDS mechanisms, which exist in some free trade agreements between countries, allow corporations to sue governments if the laws under which that corporation operates change. Free trade deals like NAFTA, the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and other free trade negotiations include ISDS mechanisms, and many are concerned that such mechanisms would allow corporations to sue governments for taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or take other action on climate change. To date, corporations have used ISDS to challenge governments over 600 times, many of which were related to health or environmental initiatives undertaken by the government.

This move from the European Parliament is therefore very exciting. It would enable governments to continue tackling climate change without putting themselves at risk legally.

Read more about this story here. 



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