Expected Environmental Impact of the TTIP Negotiations

Posted: 28 Jan 2017

Date Written: April 28, 2016


This paper analyses the possible consequences that the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is likely to have on the Parties’ environmental legislations once concluded.

There is a general concern that, if concluded, this comprehensive agreement will boost trade liberalization between the two sides of the Atlantic by watering down the Parties’ environmental legislations.

The Commission, however, argues that this partnership instead will contribute to improve the quality of the environmental legislations of both Parties by setting ambitious standards of protection.

In order to reach this goal, the Commission proposes three specific channels of action:

1. an inedited platform for regulatory cooperation,

2. a chapter on trade and sustainable development,

3. a new and innovative regime for the protection of foreign investments.

This paper first examines whether the measures contained in the Commission’s Proposal for a Chapter on Regulatory Cooperation are likely to stimulate the Parties to improve their current legislations or, on the other hand, are going to place regulatory constraints that will hinder the Parties’ capability to pursue legitimate objectives.

In its second part, the study goes on to analyse whether the provisions on environmental protection, included in the Proposal for a Chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, are effectively capable of ensuring that the expansion of the commercial relations will not come at the expenses of the environment.

The third part of the paper examines the latest innovative Proposal for a Chapter on Investment Protection, and considers whether its substantive and procedural rules provide sufficient safeguards to avoid the so-called “regulatory chill” effect.

At the end of the examination, this study concludes that environmental protection remains a second-order priority in the TTIP and, therefore, that this agreement is highly unlikely to give a positive contribution to the Parties’ environmental standards of protection.

Keywords: Environment, Regulatory flexibility,Trade, Regulatory cooperation, Sustainable Development, Investment Arbitration, TTIP

Suggested Citation

Iorio, Federica, Expected Environmental Impact of the TTIP Negotiations (April 28, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906891

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