NY Environmental Groups Seek Climate Peace Clause
Monday, September 11, 2023
New York environmental organizations are looking for a truce in the international trade wars.
They're backing what they call a "climate peace clause" - an agreement to halt the practice of making trade-based attacks on climate policies.
This comes after the European Union and other nations threatened trade restrictions on clean vehicles and other parts of President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.
Experts say a climate peace clause would mean a moratorium on trade and investment deals that challenge other countries' climate policies.
George Kimball, director of the New York Trade Justice Coalition, described the harm that trade attacks can cause.
"These challenges threaten the clean energy transition," said Kimball. "They threaten the creation of green jobs in communities across the United States. They hurt international relations. This cannot continue."
Climate organizations from around the world signed a letter of support for a climate peace clause, and Kimball claimed action can no longer be delayed.
He cited this summer's extreme weather events as more proof that nations need access to every tool available to fight climate change.
Groups are planning a march to the United Nations building in New York City to demand a climate peace clause on September 17.
Kimball noted that climate-related trade attacks have changed over time.
He said conservation policies were mostly challenged during the 1990s. But now he sees challenges related to the quick rise of 'green" industrial policies.
He cited India and the U.S. as great examples of this.
"The U.S. successfully challenged India's national program that incentivized local solar production," said Kimball. "And India successfully challenged renewable energy programs in eight U.S. states that include 'Buy Local' rules."
A peace clause isn't new for the World Trade Organization. One already exists to protect food security measures in developing countries.
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