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Climate and environment sacrificed in rush to strike Australia trade deal, inquiry finds

The environment and the climate crisis have been sacrificed in the federal government’s rush to strike a post-Brexit trade cope with Australia, a Lords committee is warning.

Ministers are criticised for failing to combat for “ambitious” commitments to reduce carbon emissions – at the same time as Canberra was information/brexit-australia-trade-deal-farmers-b2103656.html”>handed “generous” entry to promote agricultural items in the UK.

The report raises fears that “deforested land” in Australia might be used to produce the meat and cereal that might be despatched to the UK “in greater quantities”.

Goods produced “using pesticides banned in the UK” might be imported underneath the deal – the primary with a brand new associate because the UK left the EU – the Lords worldwide agreements Committee finds.

It additionally fails to embrace any references to “reducing or reviewing Australia’s reliance on coal”, regardless of a later settlement with New Zealand doing precisely that.

The committee additionally questions a authorities declare of no “significant” enhance in the UK’s CO2 emissions – arguing that excludes the transport of products and the decrease Australian manufacturing requirements.

The report comes after the Commons environment committee raised the alarm over farmers and meals producers being set to lose nearly £300m from scrapping tariffs.

The Lords committee suggests “the speed of the negotiations” was given precedence over “using the UK’s leverage to negotiate better outcomes” on the environment.

And it states: “Considering that the UK granted Australia generous agricultural market access, it is regrettable that the government did not press Australia for more ambitious commitments on climate change.”

Baroness Hayter, the committee’s chair, mentioned: “There is a risk that this agreement could set a precedent for the negotiations with countries, particularly with other large agricultural producers, such as the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

“We are urging the government to set out a clear policy against which future negotiations can be measured.”

It was revealed final yr that the federal government information/uk-australia-climate-trade-deal-truss-b1916260.html”>secretly dropped quite a few local weather pledges underneath strain from Australia – inflicting embarrassment in the run-up to the Cop26 summit.

A binding part referencing the “Paris Agreement temperature goals” was scrubbed in order to get the settlement “over the line”, a leaked e mail revealed.

Today’s report notes that the federal government anticipates a 0.08 per cent increase to GDP by 2035, from the Australia deal.

It describes this as “a fairly limited – though welcome – impact” and calls claims of wider advantages for small companies and professionals “speculative”, saying they “should not be overstated”.

Concern can also be raised over a failure to share data with the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Consultation must be “comprehensive and timely”, the committee says, calling for the opposite UK nations to be “involved throughout the negotiations” in future.

But the Department for International Trade (DIT) argued the settlement “includes an environment chapter which goes beyond all other” Australian trade offers.

“We were clear throughout negotiations that we would not sacrifice quality for speed, which was why there was no deadline to conclude the free trade agreement,” a spokesperson mentioned.

news/climate-brexit-australia-trade-deal-b2107019.html”>Source Article

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