Canadian and European flags
26 October 2017

An action plan for the robust and ambitious implementation of CETA

On 25 October, the Government approved, during the Council of Ministers, an action plan on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA). It follows a report by independent experts on CETA’s impact on the environment, the climate and health, in response to the commitment made by the President of the Republic during the presidential campaign.
 
In accordance with Emmanuel Macron’s commitment, a committee of independent experts was appointed to analyse the expected impact of CETA on the environment, the climate and health. The report of the committee, chaired by Katheline Schubert, which was submitted to the Prime Minister on 8 September, did not identify any immediate risks in the provisions of CETA which were likely to stand in the way of the provisional application of the agreement. Nevertheless, the committee raised some points of concern in relation to how the agreement will work in practice, and it considered that the agreement lacked ambition where cooperation on climate issues is concerned.
 
In order to provide concrete, practical answers to the issues identified in the report, the Government is putting an action plan in place, with three objectives.
 
  1. Ensure exemplary implementation of CETA in practice, which, through tighter controls, will guarantee effective compliance with national and European health, phytosanitary and environmental standards. In addition, France will make sure that climate regulations are protected from any abusive challenges made by foreign investors ("climate veto"). Finally, the work and impact of CETA will be closely monitored with complete transparency, in cooperation with civil society.
 
  1. Implement actions that are complementary to CETA to strengthen international cooperation on climate issues. Together with Canada, France will take concrete action to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Government will also stimulate discussions on a national and European level to reduce the carbon footprint of fuels.
 
  1. Improve the way in which environmental, health and sustainable development issues are taken into account in future trade agreements. In particular, France asks that compliance with the Paris Agreement be an essential clause for all future EU trade agreements. The aim is to ensure that trade agreements are fully consistent with European policies that contribute to sustainable development.