The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:
“Now that the text of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership is available to the public, it is disappointingly clear that this is not the tougher language we had hoped for. The environment chapter is weak and fails to provide the necessary requirements and stronger penalties desperately needed to better fight poaching, protect wildlife habitat and shut down the illegal wildlife trade. The agreement also leaves our own domestic environmental laws vulnerable to legal challenge internationally, outside of our own judiciary system.
“Most alarmingly, climate change isn’t mentioned a single time in the environment chapter.
It is ridiculous that in 2015, twelve of the world’s nations would construct a trade deal of this magnitude and not even consider the effects of climate change on industries like agriculture or fishing, or ways to prevent worsening global warming through our own economic activities. Climate change is happening right now: Species are disappearing and extreme weather events like hurricanes, crippling drought and wildfires are become more prevalent across the world. Yet this trade agreement won’t even acknowledge it.
“Although presented as a groundbreaking trade agreement in regards to wildlife, the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes no commitments not already present in existing international and regional agreements for regulating wildlife trade or preventing wildlife trafficking. It includes no provisions for fighting climate change. We urge Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership and call for a plan that would actually make a difference for wildlife and our natural heritage.”