web analytics

Corporate Saviours

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, February 12th, 2016 - 66 comments
Categories: climate change, community democracy, democratic participation, global warming, Globalisation, political alternatives, Revolution, science, socialism, sustainability, vision - Tags: , , , , , ,

Now that the TPP has been signed, all we need do is sit back and await its ratification alongside that of the TTIP in the northern hemisphere. Combined, these agreements will give corporations the heft they require to ensure that governments do the right thing by their citizenry.

In the future, when a government drags its heels on legislating in line with what is required as far as climate change obligations are concerned, corporations can threaten them with the prospect of an immense fine through ISDS mechanisms because, erm…not doing anything about climate change will have a negative impact on possible future profits. That’ll be their case. And it should be enough to bring governments into line and ensure that they do they right thing.

So, forget all the nonsense you may have heard about corporations drilling for fossil fuel deposits in the Arctic or extracting fossil fuels from shale deposits in Canada. Those things are just details in a deft and cunning game plan that corporations have to save the world.

Or then again…

Governments have been head-wanking over climate change since about 1990 and done nothing. Happily for them, if they are a signatory to either the TTP or TTIP (if those deals are ratified) then they will be more or less disempowered on the climate change front. If they do seek to enact legislation, then they’ll probably find themselves on the wrong end of a compensation claim for future lost profits.

Governments are essentially entrenching the status quo even though climate science has already informed us that huge social change was/is needed if there was/is to be even a slim chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. Our governments freely chose to make grand statements and do nothing about climate change on the basis that non-existent technology would be tested, found to work and rolled out on a massive scale at some point in the future. (The Paris Accord)

We’re going to over-shoot 2 degrees. That’s what we’re on track for and nothing is being done to alter that. So who’ll be to blame? I mean, holding someone to account won’t fix things, but still…

Well, governments are wriggling off the hook. All they will need to do in a world of TTIP and TPP is point to the restrictive environment they were required to legislate within. Y’know, they’d have done something if they could have… (honest).

And corporations have an ideological perspective that claims they only respond to market signals and consumer demands in a world of perfect economic neutrality (so they can’t possibly be to blame).

The only alternative to forlornly seeking out someone or something to blame in some knackered future is to be the social change that scientific evidence is both demanding of us and informing us about. And the simple, short version of getting your head around that is to acknowledge that society has sat between two masters these past hundred years or so. On the one hand there has been the state and on the other there has been the market. Both have failed us repeatedly and miserably. The only thing to be done then, is to end society’s relationship with both the state and the market and for us as a society to take direct, democratic control over all of our needs: socialism.

66 comments on “Corporate Saviours”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “So who’ll be to blame? I mean, holding someone to account won’t fix things, but still…”

    Blame the public. The governments of the world reflect what their populations want.

    Actually avoiding a 2C increase in temperatures requires a lower standard of living than what people currently enjoy. It’s a tough sell, that’s why it hasn’t been bought.

    The Greens like to pretend we can have a “smart green economy” where we enjoy the same or increasing standards of living, but don’t harm the environment. But even their “smart green economy” isn’t sustainable or carbon-negative.

    • adam 1.1

      “Blame the public. The governments of the world reflect what their populations want.”

      I call b.s on that statement.

    • savenz 1.2

      Minus 100 Lanthanide

    • maui 1.3

      Yep, the Greens regularly in government from the 90s onwards would have allowed a smoother transition for a global economy with limited money and resources. Instead we’ve entered into economic crash and burn territory with no survival/emergency kit to hand. Its true that a lot of people want their financial needs met first and foremost, and that individual greed has meant we’ve got the problems of a greedy government and an unhealthy climate.

  2. Galeandra 2

    Lanth,I disagree. Questioned, people I speak with recognise the need to live at a lower consumption level and I believe that would be true of the wider community. In the same way, when questioned about taxes a clear majority of NZers expressed themselves willing to pay more tax in order to achieve social goals.

    • Gareth 2.1

      It is not enough to express willingness to pay more tax to achieve social goals.

      They must make their will manifest by casting their votes towards parties who will do this.

      Instead the clear majority either don’t vote, or vote for a party that clearly has no intention of doing this.

      I think your belief that there is a clear majority who recognise the need to live at a lower consumption level is incorrect.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        So, you place faith in the state, in spite of states failing us and, in this case, dodging any accountability by passing the buck to un-elected corporate tribunals that have huge vested interests in keeping things as they are? – sheesh

        Well, let’s go with a state solution. On lower living standards and tax – it’s a case (initially) of a small percentage changing habits. That’s tax free. The ‘drop in consumption’ is no biggie.

        There might be no endless upgrades of electronic junk to rush out and buy? The horror

        Or as the trickle down of changed habits occurs, the holiday abroad most people don’t currently have anyway would hardly be an onerous imposition on the bulk of people.

        Thing is, a careening market economy and action on climate change are incompatible. If that’s the case, then why turn to the state for potential solutions when the state becomes obsolete without a market economy to foist, manage or command?

        edit – sorry, heavily edited as I initially mis-read the comment above

        • pat

          understand your reasoning but the “state” has to take the lead in changing society in this instance…waiting for a grass roots organization to garner enough support and implement (partial) personal change will take too long and cannot force some of the fundamental changes required……people still need to participate in the existing set up even if they object to it….having said that I won’t hold my breath expecting “the state” to do anything meaningful

    • Mike S 2.2

      The majority of NZers don’t need to pay more tax. The government just needs to force corporations and a small number of individuals to pay their fare share instead of avoiding their tax requirements through clever accounting. The government also needs to close down all loopholes in tax legislation. Some changes in tax statutes wouldn’t go amiss either, currently, salary and wage earners are disadvantaged under our tax rules compared to the self employed and corporations.

  3. pete 3

    Yes but you are talking of the wealthy developed countries in terms of lower standard of living being accepted by the majority.

    What about the huge contributions to greenhouse gases by the developing countries, like India, Brazil and China? Unless these countries actually take meaningful action, any action taken by the west is meaningless.

    Do you seriously believe that China will take meaningful action, or even tell the truth about what it is doing? If it did, there would be a revolution there.

    And are you asking the poor of India or Brazil to take a cut of their already marginal living standards?

    Are you personally willing to cease Internet and cell use age, which is also a growing contributor to climate change?


    • Molly 3.1

      “Unless these countries actually take meaningful action, any action taken by the west is meaningless.”

      I personally, am heartily sick of this statement – or anything along these lines.

      The people of the west are in the optimal position to try alternative methods of living without dire hardship than anyone in developing countries. We still have access to reasonably robust health systems, clean water and food production.

      They can by trial and error and innovation create connective systems for food, work and community that not only reduce fossil fuel usage, but recognise the sustainable indigenous practices of many of those third world countries.

      The west deliberately making this choice also reduces the pressure on developing countries to follow our failed economic and environmental practices in the hopes of “catching up”.

      • pete 3.1.1

        Yes we CAN bit if we do it alone, then it is no more than pretense.

        And i say again, are you personally prepared to make a sacrifice? If so, why are you willingly and knowingly contributing to the problem by being on the Web? Do you have a cell phone? Drive a car? Buy imported goods? Travel overseas for recreation?

        Unless your can answer no to all of those types of things, then you are part of the climate change problem.

        It’s just a cop out to blame corporations. The corporates are driven by what consumers demand.

        • Molly

          Societal change happens when there is a shift in what a large number of people think are “good” choices.

          Also, heartily dismissive of the following type of question – which doesn’t allow people to try out new behaviours and choices unless they can achieve someone else’s version of sainthood in the first instance. Busy pointing out supposed hypocrisy in others is a tried and true method of avoiding looking at oneself.

          “And i say again, are you personally prepared to make a sacrifice? If so, why are you willingly and knowingly contributing to the problem by being on the Web? Do you have a cell phone? Drive a car? Buy imported goods? Travel overseas for recreation? “

          Already do.

          On the web, because it is our primary resource for education, community service and entertainment. We avoid daily trips to school, community service etc. It also provides connection with others trying out new ways of living.

          Don’t purchase cell phones, or use the one I have very often. Given to me after the screen cracked and it was upgraded by previous owner. Use it sparingly, often only in the car in case I break down.

          Recently replaced our kaput car – needed a seven seater to cater to the students living with us. Spent $10,000 on a hybrid in a strained budget instead of $5,000 in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Avoid unnecessary trips.

          Buy secondhand mostly.

          Travel overseas for recreation? What do you think?

          • pete

            Ok molly, I am convinced. You are putting your money where your mouth is and I certainly respect that.

            But so many don’t, and expect the sacrifices to be made by others. It always amuses me , for example, when I see a Greenpeace sticker or Stop Climate Change sticker attached to some old smokey car. The hypocrisy of many is staggering.

            • Molly

              The current system, media narrative and obvious choices that are freely available continue the idea of perpetual growth.

              The choices we have made are personally painful in terms of finances, and consequently we live precariously from one pay to the next. And still, we have to compromise in terms of our values. But we try to practice – as much as possible – what Anita Roddick referred to as “vigilante consumers”.

              In terms of education, I now have children that are well versed in the aspects of climate change and political awareness, but that very knowledge puts them out of step with most of their peers. The cost for them is having an alternate view, the benefit for them is – having an alternate view.

              I don’t view others choices as hypocrisy. Learned habits and ways of living take time to change. At least when people start discussing these issues, the basis for change is being laid down. When enough innovators lead the way, their circle of influence gets greater and greater.

              Eventually society and political will will set up governance systems that make choosing the best option – the easiest – and the least costly.

              • pete

                Hi molly. Personally I think compromising in terms of one’s values is a fantastic strength. Who of us is ever always right? Noone. Not you or me or anyone else.

                But as I said, I highly respect people like you or rod Donald, who do their best to live by what they believe. I suspect I would never see eye to eye with you about politics, economy and so on. But, for me, the true value is to live by what you believe, subject to the constraints of reality and to compromise to respect the will of others. Again subject to reality..

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …and that’s how you get to pretend zero personal responsibility for the fruits of facile sophistry.

                  • pete

                    How about YOU take personal responsibility and stop contributing to global warming by constant use of the Internet? Oh that’s right. Sacrifices are only to be made by others.

                    Or are you totally ignorant of the part Internet use contributes to global warming?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How would you know?

                      the internet is likely to be crucial to any move to a low-carbon world. Without its capacity to carry the huge flows of energy data, there could be no “smart grid”, for example, and without online video conferencing it would be much harder to reduce the number of business flights in coming years.

                      When your carbon footprint has been as low as mine has for more than three decades, you’ll still be a massive hypocrite with zero personal responsibility, Pete.

                      Have you got another straw to clutch at? Clutch at it, clutch at it.

                • Molly

                  ” I suspect I would never see eye to eye with you about politics, economy and so on. “

                  Personally I think compromising in terms of one’s values is a fantastic strength.

                  I agree on the not seeing eye-to-eye, because I find the compromising of my values to be painful. But that could be a non-alignment of definition. My values are not the same as my goals, they are an integral part of who I am – not what I have or what I want.

                  ” But, for me, the true value is to live by what you believe, subject to the constraints of reality and to compromise to respect the will of others. Again subject to reality..”
                  This is fluff to me. I’m already in the real world, and I acknowledge the “equality” of others. But I don’t respect the “will” of those who choose destructive actions. That doesn’t require respect, it calls for criticism (and possibly action).

            • rhinocrates

              Better an old car than a new one. The energy and resource cost of mining, smelting etc and manufacturing a new hybrid wipes out any gains from its supposed efficiency, especially when their owners replace them every couple of years.

              • Colonial Viper

                exactly…so few greenies consider the issue of sunk carbon cost.

                Also last I heard electric cars still use tyres requiring loads of fossil fuels to fabricate.

                • Andre

                  The bigger problem with car tyres is the amount of natural rubber they still use. Which creates massive monoculture rubber tree plantations. One of the recent National Geographics has a good article on it.

                  Personally I’d probably be happier if car tyres were entirely synthetic rubber, those holes in the ground for oil are probably less damaging than the rubber plantations.

        • Bill

          Pete, you say.

          The corporates are driven by what consumers demand

          And Lanth says.

          The governments of the world reflect what their populations want.

          So between the two of you, I guess you identify central points of the post quite well…how neither government nor corporate will bear any responsibility and how they reflexively and always sheet it back to us, even though they’d prefer that we have no real say in what goes on. (Best left to our betters etc)

          Wonder if either of you can contemplate the logical next step beyond the tendency you’ve both identified?

        • Puddleglum

          Hi pete,

          Where does ‘demand’ originate?

          (i.e., why do people come to have the ‘expressed preferences’ – buying behaviour – that they individually manifest?)

          Personally, I don’t think it’s about ‘blaming’ corporations (as if they were persons, which they aren’t). It’s about pointing out that the logic upon which corporations are structured – and upon which they act as mechanisms for rewarding certain kinds of behaviours by persons both within and beyond them – is unlikely to result in the prevention of processes like major climate change.

          Corporations are bits of socially constructed technology that can be used – and generally are used today – to amass wealth (‘capital’). (As I understand it, originally they were chartered for specific reasons to serve specific public goods – but that is ancient history.)

          Like any machines, there’s little point in ‘blaming’ them but there’s plenty of point in socially (politically) redesigning them, re-deploying them in very different environments (e.g., not in markets) or, ultimately, scrapping them if they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

          Its clear that the possibility of these options require there to be a ‘logic’ that takes priority over the logic of the corporation.

          Bluntly, agreements like the TPP make the prioritisation of some such other ‘logic’ that much harder.

          • Mike S

            “.. I don’t think it’s about ‘blaming’ corporations (as if they were persons, which they aren’t)”

            In fact legally, corporations are persons and have all of the legal rights of human beings, without the moral and ethical considerations that a human being has to worry about.

        • Mike S

          So is it the case that you believe that in order to avoid catastrophic human made global warming people will have to give up the internet, cell phones, cars, imported goods, travel, etc?

          Good luck with that.

        • Mike S

          “The corporates are driven by what consumers demand.”

          Only in your textbooks Pete.

          Corporations are driven by profit and profit alone. They couldn’t care less what consumers demand, unless they can see a profit in it.

          Corporations, instead of listening to what consumers demand, instead develop products and then create demand for these products that we don’t need through many types of very clever marketing, advertising and public relations (propaganda).

    • Bill 3.2

      So lets knock this bullshit line on the head, will we?

      A very small percentage of people are responsible for a very large percentage of emissions – by Pareto’s Rule about a 5:50 ratio (give or take).

      That – hell, lets stretch it out to ~10% – is more or less aligns with the richest 10% or so.

      In other words, to make a serious initial dent in emissions, all that’s required is a change in the habits of a fairly small percentage of the population.

      No more flying over-seas or up and down the country at ‘the drop of a hat’ for business meetings, academic seminars or holidays. No more cruising of the Med or the Bahamas in the private launch or hop-scotching around the show in the private plane/helicopter.

      And sure, over time, no-one should be flying, driving or boating just for the sheer pleasure of it.

      And yes, there should be strictly enforced energy efficiency standards on all household appliances and on all combustion engines etc.

      And the energy hungry production of useless consumer goods, with all the attendant bullshit of crap jobs and that’s done solely for profit, needs to be ended. Same for energy guzzling service industries that have no real purpose bar profit generation.

      Neither state nor corporate centres of power will aid or abet that necessity. Both will insist (as they do) that economic activity under the aegis of market conditions continue. And that means CO2 accumulating at increasing rates.

      • pete 3.2.1

        If consumers stop demanding then corporates will stop supplying. And governments, they mostly are just Weather men.

        And a small.minority? Really? Have you ever travelled around China and actually seen the filth pumping into the air everywhere you go? Not just the big cities like Beijing, but Dalian, Jinan, Guangzhou. Everywhere, even the remote provinces and seemingly barren wastelands.

        • Bill

          Yes pete. A small minority.

          Who do you think buys most of the stuff being produced in the filth spewing industrial complexes in China? Hint – not many landless Filipinos or Brazilian peasants on the final delivery destination dockets.

          And where do you think all those filth slewing industrial units came from in the first place – off-shored production from the ‘mighty west’ that dumped its carbon emissions along with its production capabilities.

          How many years has a large boycott of Nestle been in existence and do they or do they not still produce milk powder and tout it in places where there is no safe drinking water supply?

          Do consumers demand petrol vehicles over non-petrol vehicles, or do we simply use what’s been put on offer? Did any consumer or citizen have any say in the running down of public transport and the introduction of individual transport options?

          Did the Swedish company Vattenfall just stop supplying German consumers with nuclear generated electricity when their government took the democratically mandated decision (as far as a state decision can be) to end Germany’s nuclear programme?

          Please engage brain before spouting free market catchisms. Thankyou.

          • pete

            Thank you bill for an extremely good reply. I don’t have time at moment to address each point, but!

            Nuclear energy would have to be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly energy production processes available. China itself recognises this, and is in the process of increased from 2% to 6% the portion of its energy that is produced by this means. Great news for climate change.

            And as I said, acting on climate change is not just a government or corporate thing. Everyone has huge personal potential to force change just by the choices they make.

            But despite how it may read, I am broadly in agreement with you, just am disgusted by the sheer hypocrisy of many people regarding their expectation that it’s all about others making sacrifices and who are not prepared to make a personal contribution. As such, I am in awe of the commitment of the likes of molly above.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Nuclear energy is largely produced where it’s sponsored by the government. It may be made more economical by efforts to dis-externalize the costs of climate change, however it’s actually not very cheap, it relies on diminishing fuel the same way fossil fuel power plants do, and it relies on mining to produce power, which is very environmentally destructive, even if arguably it’s efficient in reducing CO2 emissions. That’s not even counting the fact that existing nuclear plants were largely constructed when liability for their risks was externalised. Nowadays as the plant owner generally faces liability for any health concerns or disasters, they’re an incredibly risky proposition.

              But really, the economics of nuclear power are irrelevant, because there is enough renewable electricity to be had in every single country to go carbon-free. Why bother going nuclear, which has very large capital investment required and will eventually run out of fuel, when you can go renewable instead?

    • left for deadshark 3.3

      think of the CFC debate, in the ninety’s, The globule society will need too share the tec.
      fuck the copy right.

    • Lloyd 3.4

      If you check you will find that the Chinese are making huge changes in their electrical generation and are building wind turbines as fast as they can go.

      With the condition of the atmosphere literally in their lungs, the Chinese people would be undertaking a revolution now, if there was not clear evidence that the government was doing something significant to drop air pollution, and that includes greenhouse gas emissions.

      I expect that in a few years the Chinese will be used as the example of what the west should have done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Sp OliviaRichard Christie 4

    It would be interesting if governments could sue the corporations for costs, future losses and potential losses and costs caused by rogue corporate activity.

    There are real costs to environmental and social damage, invatiably picked up by the taxpayer.

    It appears the right to sue and compensation only runs one way. If it ran both ways the TPP might be a good thing.

  5. Smilin 5

    The problem is we have to actually do something about all the factors that we allow to affect the climate
    If we dont we are doomed so the Keyites and all the other side steppers need to be done out of a fuckin job and the power to stop good people from what needs to be done

  6. vto 6

    It will be interesting to see a corporate sue the government for future losses when it legislates for environmental improvement from the status quo.

    How could there be future losses in this circumstance? If laws for environmental improvement are not passed then the world comes to an end …..

    ….. therefore losses only arise with the status quo law

    ….. and profits only arise with said improved environment laws.

    It follows then that governments need to recover future profits from said corporate when laws are changed to benefit the environment

    There aint no losses with legislating for environmental improvement

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 7

    TPP Please watch this short video- the first of 4 which can be accessed by the link below.
    There is a lot that JK is not telling us about the TPP and sovereignty.


    • ianmac 7.1

      Yes TMM. And to think that they dealt with just a small part of TPP. Watched parts 1,2,3,4. No wonder it is so hard to vocalise positions on TPP. Too big!
      Noted the fact that TPP will be a dynamic changing agreement rather than closed as Key et el others claim.
      The members will “harmonise” their systems. This means those who have Public Health systems like in NZ will have to “harmonise” with those who run on Private health systems. Ouch!
      The TPP will have a Commission who sit and decide what is good for all member countries.
      The 5588 pages dumped on us are probably to muddy our waters.

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 7.1.1

        Senator Elizabeth Warren simply and clearly presents why the TPP is not a good agreement here.

        • And that’s just the problems with IS:DS provisions. There are also issues with the copyright terms negotiated under the deal, (which basically forces signatories to implement that hated piece of US legislation, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, that among other things makes it a crime to circumvent copyright protections, even if you are doing so for a legal purpose, in addition to robbing the commons of intellectual property by hugely extending copyright lengths) the increased costs to the government for medicines, (which even the government admits are going to happen, as they were forced to promise to cover the costs themselves rather than pass them onto consumers, which is of course rubbish because they’ll either have to tax you more or spend less on useful projects in order to bear these increased costs) and of course the fact that it’s a “free trade” deal that gives a bunch of extra rights to large corporations and doesn’t actually free up trade very much- which can be seen quite clearly in the carve-outs for agriculture.

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 7.2

      My God, this TPPA is TOXIC!
      Although the two commentators have an American point of view, and concerns for the ‘disappearance’ of the American way of life, to a small player in the South Pacific, the TPPA means little less than our complete integration into the American system.
      These discussions, about aspects of the TPPA which have received little attention, should be compulsory viewing for all politicians (and voters!)

  8. savenz 8

    Instead of increasing, trade between the United States and Colombia dropped 19% following the implementation of a controversial free trade agreement between the two countries, the US confirmed.


  9. pat 9

    “However, his plea is unlikely to move Cameron who has said fracking is important for energy security and economic growth. His government has aggressively promoted the nascent shale industry and was shown last week to be considering changing rules to take fracking planning applications out of local authorities’ hands.”

    familiar tactics yet again



  10. Ad 10

    OIl and coal prices have crashed so hard that they are extremely attractive.

    Flying and driving, and coal-fired electricity, have now become far more attractive. This is hardly the ‘fault’ of a population elite.

    The changes required in major countries are so large that they require weak democracy and massively strong government. China, not the US or Australia or Canada or India, is the global leader in energy transformation.

    I don’t think what you want to happen will happen. And it’s not because of the corporations or the 1%.

    • Bill 10.1

      Flying, driving etc (the monetary cost of) is a direct result of market economics. And market economies are notorious for sending false price signals. So yes, I agree that’s not the fault of any elite per se, although most public and private institutions exist to protect and enhance the position and world view of elites to differing degrees in one way or another.

      I disagree with your second contention (obviously!). The major changes require an explosion of democracy. That requires the abolition of anti-democratic road-blocks such as state governance (ie – nation states) and markets (ie – market economies). In the absence of that (I’d say) necessary move, then yes, the command economy of an overtly authoritarian state can execute larger faster changes than a covertly authoritarian one managing or facilitating a market economy.

      I then agree that what I believe needs to happen, won’t happen. The reason for that is because we are apparently happy enough to live within very limiting political and economic frameworks. We’re fucked.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Wild variations in oil prices not the fault of the elite and the financial machinery of the elite?

        Or perhaps it is all their fault.

        1) Driving income away from the bottom 90% of the worlds population so the top few % can accumulate much more. This drives down real consumption.

        2) Multi-billion dollar financing of shale oil and tar sand plays which were never going to be profitable but end up dumping excess production on to the market.

        3) The use of commodity prices and commodity price manipulation as financial weapons of mass destruction against regimes that the west does not like: Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and others.

        4) The 1% and especially the 0.1% being increasingly isolated from the negative consequences of their actions on the rest of the world, meaning that they are not getting corrective feedback that they need to change.

        And yes I agree with you Bill, we’re all pretty fucked. This system is set to destroy itself and we are all geared up to keep the system running faster and faster with all kinds of pretend and extend measures until it does so.

      • Ad 10.1.2

        Even though it’s generally getting weaker, there’s not much replacement in sight for the nation-state. I’m still partial to strong states, mostly because I still believe in the idea of policy.

        Environmental inequality doesn’t always affect the same people as those affected by asset or income deprivation. They don’t always intersect. Their effects are ‘unfairly distributed’.

        New Zealand, among others, has astonishing natural assets, yet lots of rural poverty. I still think it’s one of the best positioned countries in the world to deal both with the effects of climate change and of income and asset deprivation. It’s been done before and it can be done again.

        Most of its businesses are not corporations – they are tiny and flexible.
        Most of its remaining native forests will now be saved.
        Its local food-generation cultural movements are now broad-based and accelerating.

        And this kind of government won’t last.

  11. Gosman 11

    Nothing in the TPPA precludes nations from legislating to meet international obligations to tackle climate change.

    • Andre 11.1

      Except the fear of losing an ISDS case.

      Kinda like why we haven’t introduced plain packaging for ciggies yet.

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        Do you know how the ISDS process will actually work? If so care to explain how this will impact on policies to tackle climate change in detail?

        • Bill

          Government brings in legislation that mandates for (say) given efficiency in terms of vehicle emissions. US car manufacturer lands an ISDS for loss of future profit that will occur due to various compliance costs.

          The government defends.

          The government chooses one arbitrator from the small pool available. The corporate choose one. The two chosen, pick a third.

          The three of them decide what evidence will be allowed and what arguments will be allowed.

          A decision is made with no necessary regard to domestic or international law.

          They find in favour of the government = costs of ~US$8 million payable by the government. (US$8 million being the average costs attached to a case).

          They find against the government. Costs of US$8million + whatever compensation the arbitrators determine.

          In either case the government can pass legislation. But every time it does it could cost a minimum of US$8 million per case landed off the back of any given piece of legislation. (In the example above, how many US and Japanese vehicle manufacturers might jump on the bandwagon? Maybe one initially and all piling in if the decision favours the ‘stalking horse’?)

          How many separate pieces of legislation you reckon might be passed if a government took climate change seriously?

          • Gosman

            You assume that the case will even be heard. If there is no jurisdiction due to the Government implementing policies pertaining to an international treaty on tackling climate change it is highly probable that there won’t even be a tribunal put together on it.

            • Bill

              ISDS hearings have no obligation to take anything apart from notions of ‘restriction to trade’, into account. They are not subject to any type of oversight. They decide their jurisdiction. Even on matters of tax, they decide whether the tax is an international norm or not, and therefore whether it’s restricting trade.

              The only restriction would be where a government refused to pay compensation – there is no formal enforcement mechanism.

            • Bill

              And there are no treaties relating to climate change – nothing enforcable anywhere; just a jumble of non-binding accords and such like…

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              Thank you for illustrating my point so promptly

        • Gosman, they had to explicitly carve out that the IS:DS wouldn’t be used for pro-smoking cases because they’ve been so aggressive in abusing IS:DS provisions with them. (They haven’t always won, but they’ve been very good at winning small battles and intimidating countries that don’t want to go to court) There have also been issues with labour protection in Germany under its own IS:DS provisions in some trade deals that have caused governments to abandon health and safety laws.

          This trend extending to climate change is a matter of time, especially as regulating the rogue fossil fuel industries becomes increasingly popular.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Says a recidivist liar with negative credibility.

      • Gosman 11.2.1

        You have evidence of my lying do you? Not simply something you disagree with but something you can show that I have deliberately stated a mistruth.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          A long-term pattern of dishonesty, false framing, weasel words, cant.

          ‘There is a reason your name marks a rule about hypocrisy.’

    • Macro 11.3


  12. Instauration 12

    Oh – Allahu Akbar ?

    The ISDS concept has a 200 year colonial pedigree. Counterclaim escalation and splatter risks have an established balance and weight.

    The ISDS is nothing new. It is an antique mechanism to perpetuate control of conquest-able resources in “foreign lands”

    We must not engage with any further propositions that endorse ISDS.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    2 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    3 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    4 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    5 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    5 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    6 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago