• Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

Civil society calls on European Parliament environment committee to reject CETA

Trade unions and environmental organisations are calling on the European Parliament's environmental committee to reject the EU-Canada CETA, which could undermine EU environmental and public health standards. The committee is set to vote its opinion on the controversial trade deal tomorrow.

A group of trade unions, environmental, public health and animal rights groups has called on MEPs in the European Parliament's environment committee to reject the current CETA text because it is likely to work against key principles of the EU’s environmental and public health policies.

Here are some of the key concerns mentioned in their joint letter, which was sent to MEPs on 9 January:

  • On high standards of environmental protection: CETA’s environmental provisions cannot be enforced through trade sanctions or financial penalties if they are violated. Victims of environmental abuse cannot bring a claim in a similar manner. Future environment and climate policies cannot be sufficiently exempted, but will have to comply with CETA.
  • On the precautionary principle and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): European legislation on EDCs is under threat from CETA’s regulatory cooperation provisions because Canada considers EU regulations on EDCs a trade disruptor, rather than health protection. The EU generally takes a more precautionary approach to chemical safety than Canada does. In order to take account of trade interests of Canada and the US, the EU Commission has recently been shown to have sacrificed the precautionary principle in its proposal for criteria to identify EDCs.
  • On strict GMO laws: CETA supports a cooperation mechanism with the objective of revising and harmonising GMO rules in a way that would lower current EU standards.
  • Climate protection: CETA’s provisions on investment protection, coupled with its weak protection of the environment, may undermine or have a regulatory chill impact on future sustainable climate and energy policy, such as efforts to stop fossil fuel-based energy production and to promote decarbonisation. Its provisions therefore threaten any EU measures needed to reach the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • Mining, fracking and other extractive activities: The extractive industry is prolific in launching arbitration lawsuits. Over 50% of global mining companies are based in Canada. The most recent example is the Canadian ‘Gabriel Resources’ company’s action to sue Romania for not approving Europe's largest gold mine project. Based on the 44 legal cases for which data are available, mining companies have sued governments for a total of EUR 50.3 (USD 53) billion. If CETA’s investment chapter goes into effect, Canadian mining companies will be able to threaten and file similar lawsuits in all 28 Member States.

The full letter can be downloaded here.



Exposing the lobbying of big business costs money. Would you consider a donation to help us continue? We refuse funding from the EU, governments, political parties and corporations to be as independent as possible, so every single donation really helps. Thanks!




Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Stop ISDS campaign 2019

"Wait a minute. I don’t really get what ISDS is. ...." Here is our straightforward "What is What" on Investor-State Dispute Settlement - and why it's so dangerous.

Under ISDS corporations and the rich have sued governments for billions of euros – for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to banning dirty oil drilling. Citizens, campaigners and social movements are uniting in 2019 to put an end to this parallel justice system for big business.

Whenever a government passes a law which could potentially affect profits, the ISDS system enables companies to hit back with lawsuits for damages - often worth billions of euros. Under the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system, corporations have already sued countries for anything from introducing health warnings on cigarettes to placing a moratorium on fracking.

A seemingly innocent concept, the “innovation priniciple” has been invented by some of the dirtiest industries in Europe. They have carefully and strategically inserted it into the EU system, where it could have a significant impact on the shaping of new EU legislation or policies, and those under revision.

Climate change and biodiversity losses loom large on the list of global environmental concerns. Both UN processes for adressing these issues – the UNFCCC for climate change and the UN CBD for biodiversity – are closely followed by corporate lobbyists. Now the UN Biodiversity Convention finally features conflict of interest rules – a step still not matched by the UNFCCC.

Get our monthly newsletter

Follow us on social media

Lobby Planet 2017 banner