Latest TTIP draft a charter for energy polluters

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
12 July 2016

A news report in the Guardian this week suggesting that the latest draft version of the TTIP agreement could all but end European efforts to save energy and switch to clean power, is very worrying.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/11/leaked-ttip-energy-proposal-could-sabotage-eu-climate-policy

According to the piece, the EU will propose a rollback of mandatory energy savings measures, and remove obstacles to pricing schemes designed to encourage the uptake of renewable energies.

As it currently stands, it seems that under TTIP, the climate-change targets will be watered down by obliging the sides to: “foster industry self-regulation of energy efficiency requirements for goods where such self-regulation is likely to deliver the policy objectives faster or in a less costly manner than mandatory requirements”.

In other words, under the proposals, major manufacturing companies will be able to self-regulate, rather than be subject to legally binding standards on climate targets.

It would be like producers of electrical goods telling the public: “Concerned about the environment? Who needs regulation? You can trust us!”

We have seen the catastrophic results of light-touch regulation in the economic and financial sectors when banks and financial institutions brought the world economy to its knees in 2008. We cannot now allow the same thing to happen with our environment.

I will be looking for assurances from our Minister for Climate Change, Denis Naughten that he will communicate with the EU Commission and impress upon the need to re-write this chapter of the draft agreement, as a matter of urgency

Minister Naughten needs to make the running on this and show his credentials as a champion for renewable energy and as somebody who takes tackling climate change seriously.

He needs to give assurances that the Irish Government will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that these proposals do not become a reality.

ENDS

Contact Aodhán Ó Ríordáin – 086-819-0336

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