Climate Change and International Trade

Climate Change and International Trade

Rafael Leal-Arcas

Rafael Leal-Arcas expertly examines the interface of climate change mitigation and international trade law with a view to addressing the question: How can we make best use of the international trading system experience to aim at a global climate change agreement?

Chapter 2: The climate change challenge in the context of international trade

Rafael Leal-Arcas

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate in the following terms: Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. The relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system. Climate change is the most serious environmental threat to humankind, the sustainability of the world’s environment, the health and well-being of its people, and the global economy. It is a global, long-term, and accelerating issue, and in particular, will have a substantial impact on social, economic and environmental systems, and their interactions, and thereby on aspects of human security including water, food, and health.

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