University of Miami Inter-American Law Review


Paul Nuñez


The global community is quickly approaching the limits of the carbon budget meant to keep the effects of climate change below 2 degrees Celsius. Yet, the Countries involved in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership only incrementally strengthened the environmental protections contained within the agreement compared to other recent Free Trade Agreements. As with most Free Trade Agreements, the environmental community fears that any beneficial effect from the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s environmental provisions will be more than outweighed by its environmentally destructive consequences. The investor protection provisions are especially concerning to many environmental groups as these protections allow companies to sue governments to recoup losses resulting from certain regulations. Moreover, these suits are decided by non-governmental arbitration panels rather than by the court systems of member countries.

Negotiated at nearly the same time as a historic global climate change accord, and by an administration supportive of efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions, does the Trans-Pacific Partnership materially improve upon the mistakes of earlier agreements, or does the agreement have the potential to exacerbate the disastrous consequences of climate change?