To get a glimpse of how corporate-oriented trade deals, such as the currently proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, threaten both the public interest and national sovereignty, take a look at an innovative green energy initiative in Ontario, Canada.
In the years following the 2008 global economic crash, Ontario moved forward on a climate action plan billed the “most comprehensive renewable energy policy” in the world. It would provide premium rates for renewable energy for businesses, local governments, and first nations, and a lot of local jobs with a requirement that a minimum percentage of the labor force and materials be local to Ontario.
In “This Changes Everything,” her book on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein tells what happened next. Citing World Trade Organization rules, the European Union charged that the buy local provisions would discriminate against non-Ontario businesses. The WTO ruled the local laws were illegal, and the project, the improved local economy and contribution to climate action, were scuttled. —Chuck Idelson, 02/11/15 More »