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Green Groups: Leaked Energy Text Exposes Trade With European Union Endangers Action on Climate

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Analysis by Sierra Club and PowerShift (Germany) reveals threats of Transatlantic trade
Monday, May 19, 2014
Contact: 
Dan Byrnes, Sierra Club, 202-495-3039 or dan.byrnes@sierraclub.org
Peter Fuchs, PowerShift (Germany), peter.fuchs@power-shift.de

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A draft negotiating text of energy provisions in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the European Union was leaked online today, just as the fifth round of negotiations began in Washington, DC. Trade negotiators have largely left the public out of these talks, making leaks like this one the best way to determine the real ramifications of the secretive trade deal. This leak reveals that the trade deal would endanger action on climate disruption, despite calls by both President Obama and EU Commission President Manuel Barroso to address the global crisis. The Sierra Club and PowerShift, a German organization focused on energy and trade, responded with an analysis of the leaked text.

 

“This trade proposal spells out more of the same: more dirty fossil fuels when we should be transitioning to clean energy, more climate-disrupting carbon pollution, and more risk for communities on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program. “Dirty fossil fuels must stay buried in the ground if we’re going to avoid climate catastrophe. This proposal should be buried with it.”

 

Today’s analysis by the Sierra Club and PowerShift reveals the true intent of the EU proposal. If enacted, the proposal would:

  • expand fossil fuel exports from the U.S. to the EU,

  • increase the EU’s reliance on fossil fuel imports,

  • limit the ability of governments to set the terms of their energy policy, and

  • restrict the development of local renewable energy programs.

 

“This proposal exposes the contradiction of policy makers who promise to do everything they can to act on climate and then push a trade and investment agreements that would devastate our climate,” said Peter Fuchs, Executive Director of PowerShift. “Europe should phase out the use of its own fossil fuels -- and it should not be importing fracked gas or any other fossil fuel from the U.S. This proposal is more evidence as to why trade negotiators are holding the details about this deal so close to the vest.”

 

Trade negotiators will continue to meet this week in D.C. until May 23, hashing out the details of the proposed deal behind closed doors.

 

More information:

  • The leaked text dates to September 20, 2013. It was drafted by the European Union as a “non paper,” which is essentially draft negotiating text.

  • For a joint analysis of the leaked document by the Sierra Club and PowerShift, click here.

  • For more information on the proposed TTIP, see this 2013 Sierra Club report.

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

 

About PowerShift

PowerShift (full name: PowerShift - Verein für eine ökologisch-solidarische Energie- & Weltwirtschaft) is a Berlin-based German NGO, which is monitoring European trade, investment, energy and raw materials policies. PowerShift calls for a new, sustainable approach to international trade and investment rules and plays a crucial role in German, European, and transatlantic networking and advocacy around the ongoing TTIP negotiations between the U.S. and the EU. For more information, visit http://power-shift.de.

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