Canada and EU add climate clause to trade pact

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waits for his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 16 February 2017. [EPA/Patrick Seeger]

In a move that underscored Donald Trump’s isolation on trade and climate change, the two major economies inserted a reference to the Paris Agreement into CETA. EURACTIV’s media partner Climate Home News reports.

Canada and the EU added a climate clause to their trade deal at a high-level meeting in Montreal on Wednesday (27 September).

As EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Canadian minister Jim Carr, they adopted an update to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which entered into force last year.

The two economies agreed to “promote the mutual supportiveness of trade and climate policies”, with reference to their commitment to the Paris Agreement.

The statement fleshed out CETA’s provisions for environmental cooperation and underscored US president Donald Trump’s isolation on trade and climate change.

It came shortly after French president Emmanuel Macron told the UN countries rejecting the Paris pact should not benefit from economy-wide commercial deals.

Asked by Bloomberg if that ruled out a trade pact with Trump’s US, Macron said: “With America disrespecting the Paris Agreement, for sure, I could not accept…

“We are asking a lot of efforts [from] our farmers, our industrials, our citizens precisely to make such a shift [to a low carbon economy]. If you opened your market to products and goods coming from a country that decided not to accept the same rules and constraints, it would be totally crazy.”

EU-Japan trade deal first to carry Paris climate clause

The world’s largest ever trade deal is also the first Europe has signed that commits both parties to upholding the UN climate accord. EURACTIV’s media partner Climate Home News reports.

Trump has declared his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement and started dismantling policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, he has pursued protectionist trade policies, using his speech at the UN general assembly this week to denounce “globalism”.

Malmström has said any new trade deal must mention the Paris pact, although commission president Jean-Claude Juncker took a softer stance on a visit to Washington DC in July.

Trade and climate: How the EU can protect the Paris Agreement

It is possible to effectively integrate the Paris Agreement into new trade deals, including CETA and the upcoming JEFTA with Japan. But it requires a bit more creativity than the recent political declarations, write Mathilde Dupré and Samuel Leré.

This article is republished with permission from Climate Home News under a Creative Commons licence.

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