October 5, 2020 | News | No Comments
Newly released documents show that, in back-room talks, European officials assured ExxonMobil that the pending US-EU trade agreement would force the removal of regulatory “obstacles” worldwide, thus opening up even more countries to exploitation by the fossil fuel empire.
Heavily redacted documents pertaining to an October 2013 meeting, obtained by the Guardian and reported on Tuesday, reveal that then-trade commissioner Karel de Gucht met with two officials from ExxonMobil’s EU and U.S. divisions to address the benefits of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As the Guardian notes, the meeting was held at a time when countries in South America and Africa were “tightening regulations on fossil fuel companies for the first time in a decade, despite ExxonMobil’s ambitions to open up shale gas fracking wells in North Africa, Asia and South America.”
A briefing paper summarizing the key points of meeting reportedly stated: “TTIP is perhaps more relevant as setting a precedent vis-a-vis third countries than governing trade and investment bilaterally…We think that this third country element is in the interest of the energy sector, and especially globally active companies like Shell or Exxonmobil. After all, companies like Shell or Exxonmobil face the same trade barriers when doing business in Africa, in Russia or in South America.”
Or, as Guardian reporter Arthur Neslen phrased it, the commission effectively told the oil giant “that once the trade deal was in place, other countries outside it would be progressively forced to adopt the same measures, making it easier for companies such as ExxonMobil to expand into their markets.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT