Wikileaks Releases TPP Environmental Chapter; Once Again Shows Why Negotiators Wanted Details Hidden

from the fuck-the-environment dept

Wikileaks, who had already leaked out the Intellectual Property chapter of the TPP has now leaked the Environment Chapter as well. And, as had been expected by many civil society groups, it is now clear that the USTR, in particular, has "retreated from previous demands of strong international environmental protections." The USTR likes to talk big about how things like the TPP would actually increase environmental protections, but it looks like (as many expected) this was just a negotiating position, to be traded away to get other benefits for big corporate donors (such as corporate sovereignty and intellectual property issues). As Wikileaks notes:
When compared against other TPP chapters, the Environment Chapter is noteworthy for its absence of mandated clauses or meaningful enforcement measures. The dispute settlement mechanisms it creates are cooperative instead of binding; there are no required penalties and no proposed criminal sanctions. With the exception of fisheries, trade in 'environmental' goods and the disputed inclusion of other multilateral agreements, the Chapter appears to function as a public relations exercise.
It is clear that the US was pushing for some environmental controls, nearly all of which were opposed by various emerging nations in Asia, who fear that things like pollution controls will make it more difficult for them to develop their economies. Rather than figure out a way to still protect the environment, it appears that the USTR treated these as issues that can be bargained away in favor of other more important aspects of the deal, like exporting extreme copyright polices.

Once again, we see exactly why the USTR has flat out admitted that if the American public was fully aware of what was in the TPP all along that it would never get approved. And, once again, we're reminded that if the USTR can't get a transparent deal approved, then it shouldn't be supporting that deal in the first place.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 11:14am

    so, this is the second issue of TPP that Wikileaks has 'blown the whistle' on what the USA, via the USTR is striving it's hardest to do! will Wikileaks now be arrested and charged with treason, because as far as i am concerned and as far as i can see, what has happened here is absolutely no different to what Snowden did. the people have been made aware of shit changes that a particular group is trying to force into being, on behalf of certain groups of wealthy, powerful industry heads, by the most obscene, underhanded methods possible and without the knowledge of or the participation of the biggest stakeholder group, THE PEOPLE!
    if this is allowed to go through, instead of being stamped into the dust, just as ACTA was, those who pass it deserve all the crap they get, and that definitely includes the sheep in Congress!! it's about time that they grew some balls and stood up to be counted on the side of those who they are supposed to represent, the people of not just the USA but the people of the planet. fuck that up, as we seem to be so intent on doing, just for money, we will not get another chance! once it's gone, it's gone!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 15th, 2014 @ 11:18am


    as far as i am concerned and as far as i can see, what has happened here is absolutely no different to what Snowden did

    There is a pretty significant difference -- Snowden actually broke laws (took classified material without authorization), and Wikileaks did not.

    But in terms of end benefit, you are right!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    CK20XX (profile), Jan 15th, 2014 @ 11:49am

    It's actually a huge relief to see the TPP is also going to infuriate environmentalists. As much as I'm for protecting the only planet we have, environmentalists can be some of the most religious people on the planet, determined to bulldoze everything in their path with their sermons, but for once that's looking to be a really good thing. I hope the TPP continues to enrage all kinds of people who aren't copyright reformists so it feels like less of an us vs. them scenario.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 12:03pm

    Looks like we're going to have more interesting weather events to look forward too. Can't let global destruction get in the way of profits!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 15th, 2014 @ 12:09pm


    The IP chapter wasn't having enough impact for Congress to start having second thoughts about granting the USTR fast track authority.

    But the knowledge that this shit would be the first thing they'd tell the legislative to sign is likely to make those Congresscritters pause now that the Environmental chapter's added fuel to the fire.

    Well, one would hope anyway. I'm probably overestimating the intelligence of US Congress.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re:

    surely the material that Snowden made us aware of only became classified after he had taken it, because it made what he had done then appear far worse? the worst thing he did, as far as 'the powers that be' were/are concerned was the naming of some names who knew a great deal more about the lead up to 9/11 and that they could have had a major effect had they made the knowledge available to other agencies. although a bad thing as far as what the NSA etc were doing is concerned, i found the spying a little less disturbing than the possibility of being able to belay the Twin Towers destruction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 15th, 2014 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, the material Snowden obtained was classified before he ever saw it. Again, the essential difference is that Snowden broke the law and Wikileaks did not.

    What does or does not make the powers-that-be angry is of less importance than what they can prosecute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Clownius, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Does it really matter at the end of the day?

    The USA considers wikileaks to be a terrorist organisation just as bad as Snowden. That and wants the people in charge dead. Not to mention the site taken down. They tried hard already. It just didnt work too well when the site got mirrored thousands of times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Just Sayin', Jan 15th, 2014 @ 8:09pm

    Another one?

    Nice story, but I think you have gone over this in the other direction (or at least Glyn did), which is treaties generally must follow the laws of the countries that are party to them. So as an example, a treaty that would impose first world environmental clauses on a third world country might not work, because the third world country does not subscribe to those standards.

    You can look at something as simple as automobile noise. Many EU countries have very strict laws on these things, but the US no so much. It's why many European high performance cars now have bundled centered exhausts, so that the sound is lower to the sides when testing. If a treaty says that the the standards of the manufacturing country would apply to it's products, then a noisy US car could be sent to Germany and they wouldn't be able to enforce their own laws.

    Vagueness and a lack of solid absolute commitments is only an indication of how complex real trade deals are. They aren't like internet chat rooms, they actually have to conform to the will of the people and laws of the land.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 16th, 2014 @ 1:19am

    I find it amusing. The environment is seen by some people and the corporations as a nuisance to worry about because some eco-annoyances (read: activists) influence public opinion against them. And yet we are seeing more and more losses being attributed to the abuses the environment has suffered so far.

    I wonder when will be the tipping point. When will those in power realize that ignoring the environment will lead to epic losses in the future. And those losses won't be merely financial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Pragmatic, Jan 16th, 2014 @ 2:04am


    The more we have on side to oppose this monster, the merrier. We can squabble about the things we disagree on later. For the record, CK20XX, I'm with you on this. I don't like extremist or authoritarian ANYTHING.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    David, Jan 16th, 2014 @ 5:53am


    When will those in power realize that ignoring the environment will lead to epic losses in the future.

    Ah, but those epic losses are not a competitive disadvantage since they hit all. Actually, not even that: they hit harder in countries like Indonesia (which can drown for all we care), and they lead to industrial benefits for the large companies interested in mining and commerce in polar regions.

    Canada has been falsifying a lot of climate change data simply because an ice-free passage will be worth a lot to them.

    Big companies thrive on increasing problems and social differences: social differences make it possible to export weapons and mining, farming, and other technology intended to create the de facto caste systems making it possible to siphon off the rest of the available resources from the poor who lose ownership of their country and ultimately their life.

    This is how slavery works when done properly: you don't bereave people of their rights and property yourself, you just create the conditions where they organize themselves to have a few hand over the rights and properties of the many.

    Climate change is going in the right direction for those who are filthy rich already. If thousands work for you, you'll still have a nice standard of living and many to look down onto.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 16th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re:

    Canada has been falsifying a lot of climate change data

    No. "Canada" does not produce climate data. Perhaps you meant to say there are Canadian researchers who are engaging in fraud?

    If so, that's a heavy allegation in a field that has already seen a huge amount of false accusations of fraud. Do you have any evidence?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 18th, 2014 @ 5:04am

    Re: Re:

    "Canada has been falsifying a lot of climate change data simply because an ice-free passage will be worth a lot to them."

    It will be worth a lot to a lot more Countries than just Canada.

    Climate change is inevitable. There will be another ice age. The change is not gradual with a steady change in one direction. It is more like a pendulum swinging back and forth that is trending one way or the other. Just like winter and summer here in Canada but on a much larger time scale.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Robert, Mar 2nd, 2014 @ 11:57pm

    TPP Environmental Laws Abridged.
    Every country has the right to manage its' own environmental laws.
    Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
    Any corporations can write any environmental law in any one country and force that environmental law under Multilateral Environmental Agreements upon all other countries, failure to comply will result in economic penalties.
    Any citizens who protest this provision will be considered an threat to the corporate high profit environment, labelled as terrorist and imprisoned indefinitely See GITMO for ideal conditions under which to detain anti corporate profit terrorists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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