TTIP and Climate Change: Low Economic Benefits, Real Climate Risks

Poznań, Polska. Photo by Marcin Jozwiak via Unsplash.

Given the role the agreement will likely play in establishing rules for the global economy, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is expected to be one of the most important trade and investment agreements in the 21st century. However, the current model that the TTIP is based on will increase carbon dioxide emissions and jeopardize the ability of the European Union (EU) and the United States to put in effective policies for mitigating climate change. 

A policy brief by Matthew C. Porterfield and Kevin P. Gallagher outlines how the TTIP can increase emissions and restrict the ability of nations to adequately mitigate and adapt to climate change. It then offers a set of recommendations that would make EU-US trade policy more consistent with global climate change goals. The authors argue that trade and investment treaties should be used to help achieve the broader climate change objectives, not hinder them.

The policy brief recommends that the EU and US should put climate change first and commit to three principles: 

  • The potential economic and regulatory impacts of the TTIP on climate policy should be carefully studied.
  • The provisions of the TTIP should be fully compatible with and supportive of climate policy objectives.
  • The TTIP should, at a minimum, not result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions – the TTIP must be carbon neutral or better.

Read the Policy Brief