May 6, 2013. Source: Corporate Europe Observatory
The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada would grant energy companies far-reaching rights to challenge bans and regulations of environmentally damaging shale gas development (fracking), a new briefing by Corporate Europe Observatory, The Council of Canadians and the Transnational Institute shows.
As Canadian negotiators visit Brussels this week to move the CETA negotiations further towards conclusion, “The right to say no” warns the proposed investment protection clauses in the agreement would jeopardise governments’ ability to regulate or ban fracking.
Currently, EU member states are studying the environmental and public health risks of this newly popular technology to extract hard-to-access natural gas or oil. While the majority of countries concerned with shale gas endowments are taking positions against it, powerful oil and gas corporations are pushing back against regulation.
“CETA will empower big oil and gas companies to challenge fracking bans and regulations through the back door. They would just need to have a subsidiary or an office in Canada”, warned Timothé Feodoroff, from the Transnational Institute.