Statement of the German Advisory Council on the Environment on TTIP
The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) presented on 25 February 2016 a statement entitled "Environment and Free Trade: Environmentally sound design of TTIP". Following the presentation of the statement by Prof. Dr. Christian Callies, a member of the SRU, a panel discussion was held. Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow, Ecologic Institute, was one of the participants, next to Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan (Humboldt University) and Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner (Federation of German Industries).
In her introductory statement, Christiane Gerstetter highlighted the different dimensions of how TTIP could influence the environment. Besides the potential impact of TTIP rules on environmental regulation, which the SRU statement focuses on, another relevant dimension are the environemntal costs of TTIP, according to her. These could include higher CO2 emissions or more intensive use of natural resources. She also argued that contrary to what proponents of TTIP suggest collective well-being should not be measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP); from an environmental point of view growth as expressed in GDP is irrelevant at best and harmful at worst. She stressed that it was important for TTIP to safeguard national regulatory autonomy; this could be achieved through to a narrow scope for trade-liberalising provisions, wide exceptions and an emphasis of the right of parties to chose their level of protection.
Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Head Global Policies, Ecologic Institut had participated in a hearing of the SRU in summer 2015, commenting on TTIP. The SRU statement refers to several studies of Ecologic Institute on TTIP.
The statement is available (also in English) from the website of the SRU.