Table of Contents

Trade and Environment

Trade and Environment

Theory and Policy in the Context of EU Enlargement and Economic Transition

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by John W. Maxwell and Rafael Reuveny

The debate about how best to manage the interplay between trade, industrialization and the impacts of both on the global environment continues to rage, particularly in the context of the introduction and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This book deals with a number of important issues surrounding the debate about trade and the environment, but places particular emphasis on the process of EU enlargement.

Chapter 1: Introduction

John W. Maxwell

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


John W. Maxwell The discovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica in 1982 and its subsequent connection to the production and use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) represented an important link between industrialization and its impact on the global environment. Today, the debate over how best to manage the interplay between trade, industrialization and their impacts on our global environment (known as the trade–environment debate) is commonplace in the academic and popular press. Much of this debate has been concerned with the scientific evidence on the impact of industrialization on the environment, the economic evidence concerning the creation of wealth and its impact on the demand for a cleaner environment, and the ethics concerning how burdens should be shared by industrialized and developing nations. Given the multiplicity of issues and perspectives, this debate could be endless. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol has brought some immediacy to the trade– environment debate. The Protocol, concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, placed in a specific context all of the issues of the general debate. The European Union nations became the chief advocates of the Protocol, while the United States, under the administration of George W. Bush, became its chief opponent. A sufficient number of nations have pledged to ratify the proposal, and a number of nations are presently debating ratification. Even if the protocol fails the ratification stage, it is unlikely that the European Union will abandon its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.1 Thus, the situation now faced...