People Power to Stop TPP
by Philip Carr-Gomm
Heard of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
It’s a highly secretive and expansive free trade agreement between twelve countries — including the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia — that could undermine our democracy. Leaked text from Wikileaks reveals that the TPP would empower corporations to directly sue governments over laws and policies that corporate power alleges reduce their profits. Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack as a result of TPP.
This weekend ministers are meeting in Singapore to sign the deal, but public outrage has some governments reconsidering their support for the agreement. In Australia, New Zealand, USA, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, citizens have taken to the streets in mass protest. Last year, 130 members of US Congress voiced their concerns. Opposition is growing stronger, and people-power has been waking up our leaders.
Let’s amplify the voices of those fighting this dirty deal and push governments on the fence to withdraw their support.
Approved in its current form, the TPP would throw a massive spanner in any divestment work. Any multinational fossil fuel company could sue governments over laws which curb fossil fuel investment and expansion, such as policies to limit investment in fossil fuel companies, legislation to reduce air pollution and carbon pricing.
But this is just one component of the deal. Other parts could also criminalize internet use, undermine workers’ and human rights, manipulate copyright laws, restrict government regulation of food labelling and adversely impact subsidised healthcare.
There’s a lot at stake, but we can stop this — the might of our movement is greater than their money or manipulation. But if we are to stop this corporate takeover, we need to come together and make our voices heard:
The movement we are building locally, nationally and globally to wind back fossil fuels and reign in a safe climate future is growing by the day, and the industry is getting scared of the uncertainty ahead. The TPP is a symptom of this fear – a massive bid to overthrow any restrictions we might throw at them. And we will not let their fear threaten our democracy — or our future.