A position paper has been published that shows the European Union’s view on how waste could be dealt with under new trade agreements with the US.
As part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU has set out the potential framework for the waste and chemicals section of the finalised TTIP agreement document.
Part of the proposed Sustainable Development document calls for the recognition of waste management for the protection of human health, the environment and resource efficiency.
Secondary Commodity Markets 2015 – the conference for buyers and sellers of recyclable materials takes place on 3 March 2015 in London. Find out more here
Building on a wide range of environmental agreements including trade in green products and services that would be agreed in a Multilateral Environmental Governance section of the document, the EU proposes the following framework for the section on waste and chemicals:
1) a statement on the value of international instruments and processes on these issues
2) a commitment to achieve the sound management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle and of hazardous waste in ways that lead to prevention or minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, as an essential contribution to all three dimensions of sustainable development
3) recognition of the importance of waste management for the protection of human health and the environment and resource efficiency, a commitment by the Parties to exchange information and co-operate in order to:
– promote the prevention and environmentally sound management of all types of
waste including in third countries
– combat illegal shipments of all types of waste including to and from third
4) a statement to emphasise the multidimensional aspects of the sound management of chemicals and waste, including trade, which requires collaborative multisectoral participation,
5) actions to promote active multi-stakeholder involvement, with particular emphasis on the special responsibility of industry;
6) a commitment to co-operate at an international level to promote the effective
sound management of chemicals and waste, and to foster specifically consideration of common objectives for the protection of health and the environment based on existing and future scientific data.
The EU has proposed that TTIP must recognise that “it is inappropriate to attract trade or investment by weakening or reducing the levels of protection embodied in domestic environmental…laws”. This will be an attempt to ensure that European rules on the environment, that are recognised as being tougher than those in the US, are now reduced in order to bring trade parity.
On promoting environmental goods and services, the document states the EU and US should have a shared objective to “facilitate and promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services, such as renewable energy goods and related services and energy efficient products and services, including through addressing nontariff barriers related to such goods and services, the adoption of policy frameworks conducive to the deployment of best available technologies, and through the promotion of standards that respond to environmental, climate, and economic needs”.
Although shared with US negotiators in May 2014, the document has just been published by the EU as part of its commitment to transparency.