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TTIP will make fighting climate change next to impossible – O’Reilly

4 May, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking today in the Dáil on the issue of climate change, Sinn Féin TD for Fingal Louise O’Reilly raised the issue of TTIP and the dangers that it represents to efforts to fights climate change and in particular the “investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions for threats and impacts on their policy-making autonomy in this area”, saying that “the level of enthusiasm and zeal for promoting TTIP in this state by some parties exceeds that of other member states”.

Deputy Reilly said:

“This is an issue of pressing importance; the social and economic out-workings of climate change, are as relevant to people as any other. 

“This week TTIP has made headlines and I believe that the public need more leaking of documents such as this so that they can see the shocking realities of the deal that is currently being negotiated at European level. This deal extends well beyond reducing trade tariffs and quotas. It will have a colossal impact on public policy, which have a big impact on climate change. 

“Climate change and the quality of our environment will be a central problem demanding a response from policy-makers this century. So why then, when faced with this issue, is the EU engaged in negotiating a deal that will significantly undermine any progress to address climate change?

“The level of enthusiasm and zeal for promoting TTIP in this state by some parties exceeds that of other member states. This has been shown in the failure of the last Government to draft a comprehensive political contribution of all relevant Oireachtas Committees on TTIP, despite pressure put on them by Sinn Féin TDs and Senators.

“We talk about the importance of our Agri-food sector. We talk about Green Ireland. We market ourselves as one of the best food producers in the world. Let me be clear- this is a reputation hard earned and well deserved. But TTIP will have a significant impact on this in the context of climate change. Significant concerns have been raised with me from the horticultural sector about TTIP such that through this ‘regulatory cooperation’, there will be downward pressure on some forms of agriculture, in favour of industrial methods. What will happen then is that small farmers, such as those involved in organic production for example, will find it increasingly difficult to compete with industrial farming. Is this the way forward we envisage for Green Ireland? 

“With the threat of the legal effects of TTIP looming large on national Governments, how would governments put in place the proper regulations to meet climate targets?  Governments need to look no further than the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions for threats and impacts on their policy-making autonomy in this area.

“There is a huge responsibility on the Irish government to act pro-actively and constructively on the challenges which now face us. Climate Change is an issue that will not be going away. But TTIP can. It needs political will and that must start here. It must start with the new Government.” 

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