Trudeau, Green Groups Will Use NAFTA Talks To Push Climate Change Policies

Environmentalists and the Trudeau government see ongoing talks to renegotiate NAFTA as an opportunity to make the free trade deal “more progressive,” including on climate change policies.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland recently told lawmakers “NAFTA should be made more progressive,” which includes “integrating enhanced environmental provisions to ensure no NAFTA country weakens environmental protection to attract investment.”

President Donald Trump made NAFTA renegotiation a major part of his presidential bid. Officials from the three countries — the U.S., Canada, and Mexico — party to the Clinton-era free trade deal met in Washington, D.C. this week to reform it.

While there is some common ground for all three counties, the Trudeau government will push environmental efforts “that fully supports efforts to address climate change,” Freeland told the House of Commons on Monday.

One reason that these progressive elements, particularly on environment and labor, are so important is that they are how we guarantee that the modernized NAFTA will not only be an exemplary free trade deal, it will also be a fair trade deal. Canadians broadly support free trade.

Two days later, the environmental group Resources for the Future (RFF) published a list of recommendations for environmental policy “harmonization.” Among other things, RFF recommends better coordination on environmental reviews for infrastructure projects and oil and gas regulations.

They weren’t alone. A coalition of 15 environmental groups released eight policy demands on NAFTA renegotiation. Those demands included having governments use a “climate impact test” when crafting new policies.

“With today’s NAFTA talks shrouded in secrecy and an administration stocked with corporate polluters, we have a good idea of the answer,” the Sierra Club’s Ben Beachy said in a statement released Wednesday.

RFF identified eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and harmonizing standards for oil and gas development. The group also wants all three governments to “harmonize CO2 policies where possible.”

RFF encourages cooperation on methane emissions, but admits “federal harmonization on climate policies is improbable at best in the short-term.”

So, instead, the group calls on states and local governments to use NAFTA talks as a platform for more coordination on climate policies.

“In the meantime, sub-national efforts in the United States and both federal and sub-national undertakings in both Mexico and Canada will continue North American efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” RFF analysts wrote.

“In particular, subnational governments have an incentive to work together to harmonize rules around methane venting, flaring and leaks, and black carbon,” reads the report.

In essence, RFF is encouraging states to continue what some have already started — to ignore Trump on climate policy. Hundreds of city officials and at least one dozen state governors pledged to honor the goals of the Paris climate accord.

Read more at Daily Caller

Comments (10)

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    GaryD

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    Kill Nafta immediately if not sooner!

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      GaryD

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      *NAFTA

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    Amber

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    Trudeau will come away with politically correct fluff and sell out
    everything of value . Count on it .
    Trudeau thinks budgets balance themselves yet all he has done is run up massive deficits and debt . Once he has completely exhausted Canada’s credit card he will take a walk in the snow and announce he will return to teaching part time drama class .
    The Trudeau government will use a treaty like NAFTA to front their socialist agenda and the USA will be happy to give them all the cotton candy they want .

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      Sonnyhill

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      Negotiators will nibble around the edges on actual trade issues. I predict that Canada will acquiesce slightly on dairy and lumber, but not on dispute resolution mechanisms. America will not accept anything about climate change, only pollution. That will put Mexico in a spot. Something will be said about currency manipulation. Ivanka and Pretty Boy will get their women’s equality wish list.
      So many politicians and business leaders have told the negotiators to ” do no harm”. There’s dozens of regional interests to satisfy. I believe that any deal must be signed by Congress, who can’t seem to agree on much.
      Canada and the USA have the option of tearing up NAFTA and falling back on the original FTA. They can make bilateral deals with Mexico later.

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    Spurwing Plover

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    NAFTA needs to be totaly repealed just like with all those Useless Nations Treaties and Trudeau needs a new job as a sanitation worker and the same for all those eco-wackos

    • Avatar

      Sonnyhill

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      No Christmas presents for you, spurious one. Santa Claus is Canadian.

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    JayPee

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    What part of NAFTA’s reason to exist goes beyond international economics and especially into the realm the internal politics of any member nation ?
    I believe they are beyond their bounds even if they had a relevant issue to speak of.
    The leftist idiots need to be slapped down if for no other reason than their authority usurping arrogance.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    A load of coal for Trudeau and the granola bar munchers but it may strain the Riendeer

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    Al Shelton

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    How can Trudeau enact legislation on falsehoods?
    CO2 is not causing global warming, hence climate change.
    So any negotiations will be based on fraudulent claims.
    That is criminal IMO.

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    Spurwing Plover

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    Trudeau is as bad as Obama and Gore supporting a fake idea through using NAFTA we need to not only repeal NAFTA we also need to Trash the Paris Accord like Trump has done

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