March 8 2018: the TPPA and our nuclear free moment

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 am, March 8th, 2018 - 18 comments
Categories: capitalism, democracy under attack, Economy, Free Trade - Tags: , , , ,

In her campaign launch speech in Auckland on Sunday, Ms Ardern called climate change “my generation’s nuclear free moment”.

August 2017

Last year Branko Marcetic talked to environmental groups and experts about the potential impact of the TPPA on the environment. The environmental groups and several of the experts he spoke to opposed to the deal. He has approached those groups again in the light of the Labour government’s claim that it has renegotiated the TPPA to meet its five bottom lines. The Spinoff has published the statements from those groups,

Rhys Jones, co-convenor of OraTaiao: the New Zealand Climate and Health Council:

The rebranded TPPA will still provide investors with the very broad entitlements to take action against the New Zealand government in response to future public health and environmental regulation.

… At a time when human survival depends on the [fossil fuel] industry becoming obsolete as quickly as possible, it makes no sense to give it additional powers to resist and prolong this process

Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland law professor and a prominent critic of the original TPP:

The special protections that foreign investors use against central, regional and local government measures remain totally intact, as does their right to enforce them through the ISDS regime,” she says. “None of that has been suspended.

ActionStation’s Rick Zwaan:

Virtually nothing has changed from the original TPPA agreement when it comes to climate.

In order to meet its ambitious climate goals, he argues, “the government may choose to stop new oil rigs from drilling into the seabed, or put a ban on fracking on farms.” This would “expose the government to risk of being sued by large multinational oil and gas companies with massive legal budgets”.

Niamh O’Flynn, executive director of 350 Aotearoa:

The changes to the text of the TPPA are in the form of suspensions, not significant changes that will ensure that corporations cannot sue our government for taking necessary action on climate change.

It seems highly risky to potentially hinder our ability to do the most important work of our time, taking real action on climate change, by signing the TPP

Simon Terry, executive director of the Sustainability Council of New Zealand:

previously called ISDS “the TPP’s biggest barrier to climate action.

Meanwhile,

Friends of the Earth Europe,

The European Court of Justice ruled today that controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in the Netherlands-Slovakia bilateral investment treaty are not compatible with EU law, raising fundamental questions about the legality of other EU trade deals which include the measure. [1]

While the ruling applies to intra-EU trade deals, it could have a significant impact on the future of the EU-Canada trade deal, CETA, which includes a similar measure – the Investment Court System. After a request from the Belgian government, the ECJ will rule on whether the Investment Court System is compatible with EU laws.

Paul de Clerck, trade campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said, “This ruling confirms what citizens across Europe have been saying for years – there is no place for corporate courts to supersede the public interest. It also makes it even more uncertain if trade deals that include parallel legal systems like the EU-Canada agreement CETA are even legal under European law. National parliaments across the EU should pull the plug now and reject these unfair trade deals.”

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Sign the petition to hold Labour accountable,

We request the House of Representatives to urge the Government to reject the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership, and that the House revise the Standing Orders of the Parliament to ensure the process for negotiating and signing trade and investment agreements is more democratic, independently informed, and regularly feeds information back to the Parliament and the people.

18 comments on “March 8 2018: the TPPA and our nuclear free moment”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    This is an excellent juncture to ask ourselves the following question: If the TPPA is the 21st centuries nuclear free movement, how come we’ve been so comprehensively and easily swept aside on the issue? A few hundred of the usual suspects meandering down Queen street or a couple of Green MPs haranguing a disinterested and dwindling crowd on the steps of Parliament is nothing like the anti-nuclear (or anti-tour movement – say what you like about boomers, at least in their youth they were prepared to risk getting their heads cracked open by the red squad for a principle, and lawlessly return the favour if a policeman came within range) movement.

    To quote Wikipedia:
    “…In March 1976 over 20 anti nuclear and environmental groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, met in Wellington and formed a loose coalition called the Campaign for Non-Nuclear Futures (CNNF). The coalition’s mandate was to oppose the introduction of nuclear power and to promote renewable energy alternatives such as wind, wave, solar and geothermal power. They launched Campaign Half Million. CNNF embarked on a national education exercise producing the largest petition against nuclear power in New Zealand’s history with 333,087 signatures by October 1976. This represented over 10% of the country’s total population of 3 million…”

    Where is the broad coalition opposed to the TPPA?

    Where is the 500,000 signature petition?

    Where is the broad target, the simple mission statement – in 1976, a “nuclear free future” – that can act as an umbrella for everyone from the Lumsden CWI to a Whangarei Marae to unite under?

    The peace flotilla could instantly call on hundreds of private vessels to protest against visiting nuclear powered and/or armed ships. Nothing like it exists today.

    Where are the councils, schools and various national bodies of civic organisations declaring themselves TPPA free zones? In 1984, two thirds of New Zealanders already lived in Nuclear free zones!

    Why was it posible for the anti-nuclear movement, in just fifteen years from the first journey of the yacht Vega to Mururoa and the 1987 anti-nuclear legislation, to achieve not just total victory, but a total victory that has become identified as a core nationalist principle in our self identification?

    The left has lost the TPPA argument. 95% of the population don’t give a shit. We need to ask ourselves some deep questions as to why.

    • Incognito 1.1

      The left has lost the TPPA argument. 95% of the population don’t give a shit. We need to ask ourselves some deep questions as to why.

      The answer is staring you in the face.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      The left has lost the TPPA argument. 95% of the population don’t give a shit.

      54% of the population don’t want it but the government is going ahead with it anyway.

      Splits like this have been happening with increasing frequency since the 4th Labour government’s implementation of neo-liberalism.

      When we consider that the government routinely ignores the public is it any wonder that the public aren’t, yet, bothered to do anything?

      • Grantoc 1.2.1

        DTB

        if 54% (apparently) of the population don’t want TPPA, how come the current call to action to oppose the signing of the deal has motivated ,what, maybe 0.5% of these souls to protest?

        It suggests to me that whoever ran the survey used pretty faulty methodology or the 54% represents an incredibly soft group who don’t really care either way.

        The evidence suggests that its spurious to claim that 54% are opposed to TTPA.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.3

      I’d suggest its only a big deal to the perpetually outraged but to most of NZ its at beast a passing thought

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.4

      I haven’t seen anyone claiming the TPPA is this generation’s nuclear free moment.

      Jacinda Ardern stated that climate change was her generation’s nuclear free moment. Weka’s post looks at the TPPA in the light of that statement about climate change.

      So your comment should be adjusted to that – why aren’t people protesting in numbers about the potential impact of the TPPA on the NZ government’s ability to counter climate change?

      • weka 1.4.1

        Yes, some people don’t bother reading the posts. I was being entirely sarcastic with the title. I think I will amend the post to make it clear that it was a reference to JA’s statement.

    • weka 1.5

      “If the TPPA is the 21st centuries nuclear free movement,”

      It’s not. As Carolyn pointed out, Ardern claimed that climate change was her generation’s nuclear free moment. I don’t know if you didn’t bother reading the post, or were unaware of JA’s famous statement, but perhaps you might want to slow down with the rhetoric until you understand what a post is about. I’ve added a bit at the start of the post to make it clearer.

      I was in the peace movement for a while in the 80s, and I am well aware of that history, including Labour’s deep involvement in that, which is what makes JA’s position on climate and the TPPA even worse. Maybe there is another post to write about neoliberalism’s ability to fuck with protest gains.

    • Bill 1.6

      And while NZ went nuclear free and everyone ran to “get in behind”, so did trade and finance…

      I can’t see Ardern pulling off any comparable “fait accomplis” in any area (let alone across an entire economy) with her meaningless “nuclear free moment” tagging of AGW.

      And if AGW really is NZ’s new “nuclear free moment”, then I’d suggest we’s completely fucked and should be scanning those horizons to see who’s rolling what over them.

    • Obtrectator 1.7

      “Where is the broad coalition opposed to the TPPA?”

      “Where is the 500,000 signature petition?”

      Where is the educated and uncowed populace that’s necessary for either?

      Dumbed down by MSM’s refusal to air the issues properly, and mostly preoccupied with just trying to survive in our brutal devil-take-the-hindmost socio-economic environment.

  2. The government is treating te tangata like we have know voice choice intelligence like they know better this is winston peters option he backs this farcial contract that signs our sovereignty away hes not to bright either just crafty .
    If bill engish did not throw winston under the bus we would still have a national ruining OUR country with those old ideological dum___views . winston could stop this tpp11 .
    He can not see the big picture that big business models is written into there companies philosoph it is there goal to maximize profits at all cost be it human rights the environment every thing else is not considered its all about the proffers.
    Ana to kai ka kite ano

  3. cleangreen 3

    The global corporations may also stop NZ Government taking action to curtail carbon emissions as well.

    They will claim that reducing use of carbon emitters as harming their business’s and therefor stop PM Jacinda Arderrn’s plan to tackle her “generations” nuclear moment”” by following the lead of UK and EU by banning diesel transport.

    I wrote a response to the article in TDB today, it is worth a read, so as this is part of Jacinda’s issues that she will under TPP11 be prevented from following along UK and EU olan to cut climate change emissions of transport so Jacinda Ardern, today if you plan to sign this toxic anti climate change agreement called TPP11 anti-climate change” agreement you will stop your own last chance to tackle climate change now.

    “Let’ us not do this”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/03/08/a-zero-carbon-act-for-new-zealand-environmental-defence-society/

    EDS – We strongly agree with that position of inclusion, as we need everyone to agree to the sharp change in slashing carbon emissions now otherwise inside five years we will be to late to stop the destructive effects of climate change “meltdown” where weather events severely disrupt our food supplies and then people will die from hunger.

    Transport emissions account for 40% of all carbon emissions produced today.

    Truck freight must be removed from freight and rail and shipping must both now become the “prime mover of all freight as trucks are 10 times more carbon emitters than any other freight system. Diesel must be slashed severely because ‘UK and EU are banning all diesel vehicles now as we speak so why aren’t we???

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/04/diesel-vehicles-will-disappear-sooner-than-expected-says-eu-industry-chief

    Jacinda it was your first call to slash carbon emissions as you claimed “climate changer is the “nuclear moment of our generation”.

    “lets do this”

  4. Yes , its not a good look for the Labour led coalition at all.

    The neo liberal presence is still alive and kicking in the Labour caucus , – so too is giving credence to those lobbyists who are pushing for the go – ahead it seems. Never let it be forgotten that Labour was the first party to implement neo liberalism in NZ via Roger Douglas. It was one of the main reasons why people cancelled their membership in droves, and why Labour spent many years preaching the limp wet noodle of Identity Politics instead of where it should have been : firmly rooted in its core principles and issues of class and economic equity.

    They have in effect , – again , – made themselves almost indiscernible from the odious National party which we all just spent 9 years campaigning against.

  5. adam 5

    I see this as an opportunity.

    TPPA, don’t mean jack if people shut down the petrol stations.

    TPPA, don’t mean jack if people stop consuming.

    Come on folks the real issue here, is our government willing to sell us out to corporations?

    Answer – Yes they are.

    So what are you going to do about it in a non-violent productive way? Because as always, and at the end of the day, the enemy is the old enemy of working people – capitalism.

    • weka 5.1

      Yes, I see the TPPA as stepping stone into the larger work needing to be done.

      any chance we could hash this out? Because I agree that capitalism is a huge issues, but it’s not the only way into solving this mess. And we can’t afford to wait until the anti-capitalism movement is big enough to make a difference. I am interested in the meeting point between anti-capitalism and other movements though, and where solidarity and intersectionality might take us.

      • adam 5.1.1

        Who said wait, I’m arguing for action now.

        Who cares what it is, I’m just framing it as anti-capitalist becasue we live under capitalism as an economic and Liberalism as the ideological underpinning. Neither can be separated from each other, as the failed social democratic experiment has shown.

        That said, I don’t really care if you are on the anti-capitalist boat. I don’t really care what buzz you are on. As long doing somthing to fix the mess we are walking into.

  6. savenz 6

    Agree 100% with everything you say Weka!

    • cleangreen 6.1

      Weka;

      Add us in there to weka – capitalism has now well and truly been corrupted by elitists.

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