234 Environmental Groups Call for a Climate Peace Clause to End Trade Attacks on Climate Initiatives

Aug 7, 2023

Trade  Justice Fund.org

Seattle, Wash. — As senior officials from the U.S. and throughout the Pacific Rim met in Seattle for a final round of talks before President Biden hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this November, environmental advocates delivered a letter from 234 environmental groups calling on the administration to pursue a “Climate Peace Clause” that would end trade disputes threatening climate initiatives around the world.

“Outdated trade rules continue being used to attack climate programs at the federal and sub-federal levels,” said Clayton Tucker, a climate organizer with the Trade Justice Education Fund.  “A moratorium on the use of trade agreements to challenge climate mitigation and clean energy transition policies would enable local, state and national governments to safeguard existing climate measures and adopt the additional policies urgently needed to prevent the worst outcomes from climate change.” 

Signed entirely by state and local environmental organizations, the groups’ letter calls on the Biden administration to “take decisive action to prevent climate policies in our states from being attacked and undermined via outdated trade agreements.”

Their letter points to both a World Trade Organization ruling against the solar programs in eight U.S. states and the ongoing trade threats against clean vehicle provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act as “a warning sign of what could happen as our states adopt the stronger and bolder climate policies that are needed.”

“We were glad when the administration recently announced a reciprocal agreement ending India’s trade attacks again U.S. states’ solar programs and vice versa,” said Tucker. “Unfortunately, other clean energy initiatives in the U.S. and elsewhere are still being threatened and future climate policies remain at serious risk.  A Climate Peace Clause would provide assurances that other climate programs won’t be delayed or weakened by trade attacks moving forward.”  

The groups are calling for a Climate Peace Clause to be immediately adopted within any and all pending trade agreements, as well as international venues, such as APEC and the G7, and other coalitions of willing countries.

The state and local environmental groups’ letter echoes previous calls for a Climate Peace Clause made by state legislators from all fifty states and by national environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace USA, Food & Water Watch, Oil Change International, 350.org and others.

(MOVCA has signed on to this letter.)