The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its Relevance for Global Sustainable Land Use
Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, prepared a discussion paper on "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its relevance for global sustainable land use" as part of the GLOBALANDS project. The paper is available for download.
In the discussion paper Christiane Gerstetter analyses the possible impact of TTIP on future land-use. She identifies three main trajectories relevant for land use impacts: a) changes in the type and intensity of land-use as a result of different and extended trade and investment flows, b) the impact of TTIP on existing regulation relevant to land-use, and c) its impact on such regulation in the future.
The paper points out that predictions on the actual impact of TTIP are fraught with uncertainties, among others because the agreement has not been finalised yet. So far, only few of the specific policy areas included in the TTIP negotiations are of direct relevance for land-use. Concerning the two most important cross-cutting mechanisms under negotiation – provisions on investor-state dispute settlement and regulatory cooperation – entail risks rather for future land-use related regulation than existing regulation. Generally, evidence on the extent to which international trade and investment agreements lead to a "race to the bottom" in e.g. environmental and health standards is rather anecdotal, case-specific and ultimately not conclusive. Yet some of the mechanisms that according to the EU's textual proposal are to be included in TTIP could slow down regulatory processes or may tilt the political playing field in favour of economic and trade interests at the expense of sustainability interests.