TTIP: what does the transatlantic trade deal mean for renewable energy?

05-Aug-2015

In July the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) came a step closer to reality. Formal talks have been ongoing for two years, but trying to create the world’s biggest free trade zone is no mean feat. Essentially, if passed, the EU and US will be able to trade without each other’s pesky tariffs or regulations getting in the way.

David Cameron is a big advocate, arguing it could add £10bn to the UK economy. Many others, meanwhile, criticise the undemocratic nature of the closed-door talks and sinister influence of powerful lobbyists.

But what would TTIP mean for renewable energy?

Access to cheap fossil fuels

Currently, the only energy sources traded in significant amounts between the EU and the US are refined petroleum products and solid fuels – but TTIP could allow Europe to gain access to US crude oil and natural gas resources. The European commission has repeatedly called for the inclusion of energy and raw materials in the trade partnership, according to the European parliament’s internal policies department. Although, it adds, due to growing demand for natural gas in Asia, which is offering higher prices, fuel is most likely to flow in that direction. (by Tim Smedley, The Guardian)

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