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Environment must be key to European trade

September 29, 2010 5:29 PM

South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder has spoken out against trade practices that damage the environment.

Catherine told the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade that environmental protection must be a central part of European trade policy and that European businesses must take corporate social responsibility seriously outside the borders of Europe as well as at home.

Catherine, a lifelong environmental campaigner, said, "Environmental and social standards must be key to European trade."

"The environment is vital for our survival and it mustn't be squandered off for short term economic gains."

"For many people around the world the natural environment is linked to their immediate survival, as well as in the long term. Many indigenous people provide for themselves sustainably through the environment."

"If the environment is damaged then so is their capacity to harvest food. Our trade practices must not contribute to this."

"Maybe we should consider following the US approach and publishing what we pay for resources? The scrutiny that follows transparency may ensure Europe does not exploit the environment abroad."

Catherine is the shadow rapporteur for the International Trade Committee's report on Corporate Social Responsibility