Modern trade agreements are worsening the climate crisis by increasing carbon pollution and handcuffing the policy space needed for governments to implement commonsense climate solutions.
- Trade agreements prohibit countries from restricting trade in fossil fuels
At their core, Free Trade Agreements require countries to remove restrictions on the movement of goods across borders, including oil, coal and natural gas. As such, government actions that directly or indirectly limit the export or import of fossil fuels can be considered violations of trade agreements.
- Trade agreements give corporations tools to attack environmental policies
Most trade agreements give transnational corporations tools to attack the environmental laws, regulations and even court decisions of the countries they operate within. They empower corporations operating across borders to sue over policies they believe interfere with trade and investment privileges outlined in those trade deals. Trade deals have already been used to attack fracking moratoriums, pipeline permitting denials, oil spill clean-up orders, solar panel incentives and more.
- Trade agreements enable wasteful, throwaway consumer culture
By offshoring once good-paying manufacturing jobs from the United States and other countries to sweatshops abroad, trade agreements also enable short-lifecycle manufactured goods — especially when it comes to consumer electronics.
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