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Secret documents reveal trade deal could limit Canadian climate-change fight

Press Release - Canadian Union of Public Employees, December 3, 2015

As world leaders are gathered in Paris for the COP21 climate talks, 23 government negotiators including Canada are in Geneva negotiating a secretive trade deal that will give oil and gas companies new powers.

Wikileaks has released a section of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) draft text that, if adopted, would prevent governments from favouring clean energy - such as solar - over more polluting sources - like the tar sands.

The leak reveals TiSA would also make it difficult, or even impossible, to ban fracking or phase out hazardous and polluting energy extraction. This poses enormous barriers to government action, like Alberta’s recent climate change strategy.

“It’s urgent that we collectively phase out – not expand – our fossil fuel use,” says Mark Hancock, CUPE National President. “TiSA keeps our planet on the path to climate disaster, by allowing corporations to continue exploiting dirty energy sources, and preventing governments from favouring renewable alternatives.”

A CUPE delegation to the COP21 climate talks, including National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, is calling on international leaders to reject any trade deal that hinders the fight against climate change.

“In Paris, we’re pushing for public ownership of renewables. It’s the best way to transition away from fossil fuels and meet ambitious emissions targets,” says Fleury. If Canada wants to show leadership on climate change, it’s time to walk the talk. Our government must reject TiSA.”

Global trade union federation Public Services International has analyzed the leaked text: 

CUPE is committed to stopping trade deals like the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and TiSA, which put corporate profits ahead of the public interest and the environment.

CUPE is calling for fair trade deals that work for people and the planet – not just a global corporate elite.

Learn more in the Trade section of our website.

To stop climate change and move to a renewable future, we must take the profit motive out of our energy strategy. CUPE supports public ownership of the energy sector and works with allies like Trade Unions for Energy Democracy to find solutions to the climate crisis that can strengthen worker and community power while advancing social and environmental justice.

Watch the video This Is What Energy Democracy Looks Like.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

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