groups: proposal would be disaster for climate
A leaked European Union document published today
by the Washington Post exposes the dangerous direction the trade deal between
the U.S. and the EU is taking when it comes to raw material and energy.
The leaked position paper reveals
that the proposed trade deal - the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP - could
change U.S. energy policy to allow for increased exports of oil and gas and
keep the EU dependent on high levels of fossil fuel imports. The document is attracting
ire from environmental groups in the U.S. and in Europe which say the proposal
would be a disaster for the climate.
"This leaked proposal
further confirms our concerns that, while the public is being kept in the dark,
the EU-US trade deal is being used to trade away regulations that protect us
from dangerous climate change," said Natacha Cingotti, corporate
campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. "Europe needs to end
its high import dependency and make an urgent transition to clean, renewable energy
and greater energy efficiency."
The document states that the EU
is seeking "a legally binding commitment" that would
"transform" the current U.S. process for examining the impacts of
natural gas and crude oil exports into a process whereby "licenses for
exports to the EU are granted automatically and expeditiously".
"If there is one thing
that the EU gets right in this proposal, it is that EU and U.S. companies would
be "first beneficiaries,'" said Peter Fuchs, executive
director of Germany-based PowerShift. "The oil and gas industry,
which under the EU proposal would be granted the right to sell U.S. fracked gas
and oil to the EU with no review or delay, is the real winner in this proposal;
communities and our environment will suffer the losses."
"The EU proposal is
climate denial, pure and simple," said Steve Kretzmann, Executive
Director of Oil Change International. "At a time when science is
crystal clear that we need to leave most proven fossil fuel reserves in the
ground, anything that makes further exploration and development more profitable
– like this EU proposal – is totally irresponsible."
Environmental groups are also
concerned that the EU is prioritizing access to U.S. fossil fuels instead of
maximizing the potential of renewables and efficiency, despite having set
targets to reduce climate emissions by 2020.
"The U.S.-EU trade pact
provides the European Union with a back-door to manipulate U.S. energy policy
without public scrutiny," said Ilana Solomon, director of the
Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program. "The EU wants a free pass
to import dirty fossil fuels from the U.S. -- a run-around U.S. law that would
result in more dangerous fracking for oil and gas in our backyards and more
climate-disrupting pollution globally."
"If U.S. trade officials
do only one thing at the negotiating table next week, they should reject this
proposal," Solomon said.
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