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29 Oct 2021

David Suzuki

Comment: Trade and investment rules shouldn’t undermine climate ambition

'Trade and investment rules shouldn’t undermine climate ambition', 29 October 2021

"If world representatives at the UN climate conference in Glasgow put talk into action, we could forestall the worst impacts of the rapidly accelerating climate crisis. But we have to look beyond the Conference of the Parties — COP26 this year. If agreements under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are undermined through other international structures, we could face a grim future...

... Even though the UNFCCC is the primary arena for global climate co-operation, other international instruments could play a greater role in our climate future. Rules accepted under World Trade Organization and various other trade and investment agreements often benefit destructive, extractive industries to the detriment of national and international climate goals and ambitions.

Multilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements facilitate the flow of commodities, services, intellectual property and foreign investments between nations. Under these, private corporations and national governments have been able to sue countries, including Canada, for enacting public-interest environmental regulations that could affect the companies’ monetary interests..."