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

  • New Zealand to open new Trade Commission in Fiji
    New Zealand will open a new Trade Commission in Fiji later this year, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor has announced.  “Fiji is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in the Pacific region”, Damien O’Connor said. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, annual two-way trade between New Zealand and Fiji was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Building a New Zealand Health Service that works for all New Zealanders
    HON ANDREW LITTLE SPEECH Morena tātau katoa. Tēnā tātau kua karahuihui mai nei i tēnei ata, Ki te whakarewa te rautaki hauora matua o Aotearoa, Kia hua ko te oranga pai o te motu. Tena tatau katoa.   INTRODUCTION Welcome. Today, I am laying out for you a plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Major reforms will make healthcare accessible for all NZers
    All DHBs will be replaced by one national organisation, Health New Zealand A new Māori Health Authority will have the power to commission health services, monitor the state of Māori health and develop policy New Public Health Agency will be created Strengthened Ministry of Health will monitor performance and advise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister Henare contribution to speech on Building a New Zealand Health Service that works for all N...
    We talk a lot about being a transformational Government. Some imagine this statement means big infrastructure builds, massive policy commitments all leading up to a single grand reveal. But this is what I see as transformation. Something quite simply and yet so very complex. Māori feeling comfortable and able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Health reform announcement
    On Wednesday morning, Minister of Health Andrew Little and Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Peeni Henare are announcing major health reforms.  You can watch the announcement live here from 8am Wednesday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Alpine Fault research supports Government’s work planning and preparing for earthquakes
    New research into the probability of an Alpine Fault rupture reinforces the importance of taking action to plan and prepare for earthquakes, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. Research published by Dr Jamie Howarth of Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington today, shows there is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further support to UN North Korea sanctions
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare today announced that New Zealand is deploying a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in support of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea. The Resolutions, adopted unanimously by the UNSC between 2006 and 2017, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Transmission Gully review shows flawed planning process should have been addressed before project st...
    The Transmission Gully Interim Review has found serious flaws at the planning stage of the project, undermining the successful completion of the four-lane motor north of Wellington Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Transport Minister Michael Wood said. Grant Robertson said the review found the public-private partnership (PPP) established under the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australian Foreign Minister to visit Aotearoa New Zealand
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today that Australian Foreign Minister Hon Marise Payne will visit Aotearoa New Zealand for the first face-to-face Foreign Ministers’ Consulations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Australia is New Zealand’s closest and most important international partner. I’m very pleased to be able to welcome Hon Marise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Border exceptions will see more families reunited
    Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Government closed the border to everyone but New Zealand citizens and residents, in order to keep COVID-19 out, keep our economy open and keep New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • “He Taniwha He Tipua, He Tipua He Taniwha – The Dragon and the Taniwha”
    Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Foreign Minister 8.30am, 19 April 2021 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Speech to the NZCC Korihi Pō, Korihi Ao E rongo e turia no Matahau Nō Tū te winiwini, Nō Tū te wanawana Tū Hikitia rā, Tū Hapainga mai Ki te Whai Ao, Ki te Ao Mārama Tihei Mauri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Backing sustainable wool carpets to create a compelling yarn for New Zealand’s strong wool sector
    The Government is supporting a new project with all-wool New Zealand carpet company, Bremworth, which has its sights on developing more sustainable all-wool carpets and rugs, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced.  The Ministry for Primary Industries is contributing $1.9 million towards Bremworth’s $4.9 million sustainability project through its Sustainable Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Timor-Leste for flooding and COVID-19 surge
    New Zealand is providing further support to Timor-Leste following severe flooding and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Our thoughts are with the people of Timor-Leste who have been impacted by the severe flooding and landslides at a time when the country is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
    A ceremony has been held today in Gisborne where the unclaimed medals of 28 (Māori) Battalion C Company soldiers were presented to their families.   After the Second World War, returning service personnel needed to apply for their medals and then they would be posted out to them.  While most medals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reducing barriers to breastfeeding
    The Government is committed to increasing the number of mothers who breastfeed for longer to give babies born in New Zealand the best start in life. The Ministry of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six month but only about 20 percent of children at this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • SolarWinds compromise attributed to Russian state actor
    New Zealand has today added its voice to the international condemnation of the malicious compromise and exploitation of the SolarWinds Orion platform. The Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau, Andrew Little, says that New Zealand's international partners have analysed the compromise of the SolarWinds Orion platform and attributed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Queenstown roading project given fast track approval
    An expert consenting panel has approved the Queenstown Arterials Project, which will significantly improve transport links and reduce congestion for locals and visitors in the tourism hotspot.   Environment Minister David Parker welcomed the approval for the project that will construct, operate and maintain a new urban road around Queenstown’s town ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Screen industry secures landmark project
    Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash says a landmark deal has been agreed with Amazon for The Lord of the Rings TV series, currently being filmed in New Zealand. Mr Nash says the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) secures multi-year economic and tourism benefits to New Zealand, outside the screen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Report into review of health response to lead contamination released
    The Government welcomes the findings from a rapid review into the health system response to lead contamination in Waikouaiti’s drinking water supply. Sample results from the town’s drinking-water supply showed intermittent spikes in lead levels above the maximum acceptable value. The source of the contamination is still under investigation by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ Upgrade Programme revs up economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the start of construction on the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s Papakura to Drury South project on Auckland’s Southern Motorway, which will create hundreds of jobs and support Auckland’s economic recovery. The SH1 Papakura to Drury South project will give more transport choices by providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech releasing the Digital Council's report 'Towards Trustworthy and Trusted Automated D...
    CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY  E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēna koutou, tēna tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua, ko Ngāi Tahu, ko Waitaha, ko Kāti Māmoe  anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Green light for 10 minute e-bus to Auckland Airport
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the completion of upgrades to State Highway 20B which will give Aucklanders quick electric bus trips to and from the airport. The State Highway 20B Early Improvements project has added new lanes in each direction between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20 for buses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Review into greyhound racing announced
    The Government is putting in place a review of the work being done on animal welfare and safety in the greyhound racing industry, Grant Robertson announced today. “While Greyhound Racing NZ has reported some progress in implementing the recommendations of the Hansen Report, recent incidents show the industry still has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Road safety boosted by increased penalty for mobile use while driving
    The infringement fee for using a mobile phone while driving will increase from $80 to $150 from 30 April 2021 to encourage safer driving, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said too many people are still picking up the phone while driving. “Police issued over 40,000 infringement notices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific mental wellbeing supported across Auckland and Wellington
    Pacific people in New Zealand will be better supported with new mental health and addiction services rolling out across the Auckland and Wellington regions, says Aupito William Sio.  “One size does not fit all when it comes to supporting the mental wellbeing of our Pacific peoples. We need a by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fresh approach proposed to Smokefree 2025
    New measures are being proposed to accelerate progress towards becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced. “Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke kills around 12 people a day in New Zealand. Recent data tells us New Zealand’s smoking rates continue to decrease, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt expands Mana Ake to provide more school-based mental wellbeing support
    More children will be able to access mental wellbeing support with the Government expansion of Mana Ake services to five new District Health Board areas, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Health Minister made the announcement while visiting Homai School in Counties Manukau alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Record Number of People Move Into Work
    The Government’s COVID-19 response has meant a record number of people moved off a Benefit and into employment in the March Quarter, with 32,880 moving into work in the first three months of 2021. “More people moved into work last quarter than any time since the Ministry of Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Significant global progress made under Christchurch Call
    A stocktake undertaken by France and New Zealand shows significant global progress under the Christchurch Call towards its goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.  The findings of the report released today reinforce the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, with countries, companies and civil society working together to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New chair of interim TAB NZ Board appointed
    Racing Minister Grant Robertson has announced he is appointing Elizabeth Dawson (Liz) as the Chair of the interim TAB NZ Board. Liz Dawson is an existing Board Director of the interim TAB NZ Board and Chair of the TAB NZ Board Selection Panel and will continue in her role as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to phase out live exports by sea
    The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Workshop on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems – opening remarks
    WORKSHOP ON LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS SYSTEMS Wednesday 14 April 2021 MINISTER FOR DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL OPENING REMARKS Good morning, I am so pleased to be able to join you for part of this workshop, which I’m confident will help us along the path to developing New Zealand’s national policy on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inter-prison kapa haka competition launched
    For the first time, all 18 prisons in New Zealand will be invited to participate in an inter-prison kapa haka competition, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The 2021 Hōkai Rangi Whakataetae Kapa Haka will see groups prepare and perform kapa haka for experienced judges who visit each prison and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government takes step forward on counter terrorism laws
    The Government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill, designed to boost New Zealand's ability to respond to a wider range of terrorist activities. The Bill strengthens New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm. “This is the Government’s first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Carbon neutral government a step closer
    Coal boiler replacements at a further ten schools, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Fossil fuel boiler replacements at Southern Institute of Technology and Taranaki DHB, saving nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Projects to achieve a total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Chief Parliamentary Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Cassie Nicholson as Chief Parliamentary Counsel for a term of five years. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the principal advisor and Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO).  She is responsible for ensuring PCO, which drafts most of New Zealand’s legislation, provides ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Emissions report shows urgent action needed
    Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that both gross and net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ becomes first in world for climate reporting
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says Aotearoa New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities. The Financial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Awards celebrate the food and fibre sector employer excellence
    Exceptional employment practices in the primary industries have been celebrated at the Good Employer Awards, held this evening at Parliament. “Tonight’s awards provided the opportunity to celebrate and thank those employers in the food and fibres sector who have gone beyond business-as-usual in creating productive, safe, supportive, and healthy work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tourism Infrastructure Fund now open
    Applications are now invited from all councils for a slice of government funding aimed at improving tourism infrastructure, especially in areas under pressure given the size of their rating bases. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has already signalled that five South Island regions will be given priority to reflect that jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago