Dearden is from Global Justice Now – the usual bunch of Trots who never quite have left mother’s basement. Their political views haven’t advanced from the age when that was where the train sets were either. Nor, actually, has their knowledge:
The trade rules contained in the UK-Australia deal will be a disaster for the environment. On the one hand, it will certainly increase carbon emissions if we replace food from Britain, or our near neighbours, with food from a country on the opposite side of the world.
No, not really, As Adam Smith pointed out it used rather less resources to get our wine from Bourdeaux than it did to grow the grapes in Scotland. Tomatoes from southern Spain have, even after transport, lower emissions than those hothoused in England. New Zealand lamb – yea after transport – has fewer emissions than Welsh hillside stuff. Whether Oz beef will than Hereford I sunno. But it’s not a safe bet now, is it, that it will be higher emission?
Dearden’s real thing is that he doesn’t like trade.
Importing more industrially produced food doesn’t only boost that industry in Australia, it will over time drive small farmers who can’t compete out of business and put downward pressure on standards here. Our own farming system will become less environmentally sustainable.
But if emissions here are higher and we replace that with food from lower emission sources then we’re becoming more environmentally sustainable, aren’t we?
Laying aside the government’s protestations to the contrary, this trade deal will affect food standards through clauses that effectively allow us to import food made to lower standards than we employ here.
Gosh, so consumers get a choice! How Trot to insist that they may not.
Trade deals limit a government’s ability to intervene in the economy, lest any action be judged “discriminatory” to foreign corporations. Some deals even include clauses that make it impossible for governments to effectively regulate fossil fuel exports. The problem is that this kind of government intervention is precisely what we need if we’re to build a more environmentally friendly economy.
Unlike global climate commitments, trade deals are highly enforceable.
That’s what he really wants to whine about. ISFS arbitration systems. You know, the ones that say governments must uphold the contracts they sign. And they can be sued in a court they don;t control to make them do so.
Trade deals are, instead, about clearing away obstacles to the free movement of goods, services and money around the world.
Can’t have people doing as they want now, can we?
Dearden is simply a ghastly little oik.