Legal and Policy Challenges for the World Economy
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson, Yves Le Bouthillier, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and Stepan Wood
Chapter 15: Climate and Trade in a Divided World: Can Measures Adopted in the North End Up Shaping Climate Change Legislative Frameworks in the South?
Francesco Sindico* 1. INTRODUCTION Developing countries face a double challenge when dealing with climate change: they are asked to adopt mitigation and adaptation measures to start tackling this grave problem but, at the same time, development remains the number one priority for the vast majority of them. These two objectives may create tensions between sectors of a government wishing to prioritize environmental goals and those more concerned with economic development. Furthermore, this tension between addressing climate change and pursuing economic development may lead to disputes with other countries.1 To foster development, many developing countries will strive to participate more actively in the global market, since one avenue to promote economic development is for producers to export freely their goods and services. It is therefore crucial that they be able to rely on international legal norms that facilitate exports to other developing countries and even more so to industrialized ones, as it is in the latter that most goods they produce are consumed. This chapter seeks to explore to what extent climate change policies in the North may end up shaping policies in the South by obliging exporters from developing countries to comply with specific climate change requirements. Section 2 briefly highlights carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns as reasons why an industrialized country may consider targeting imports from developing countries. Section 3 focuses on current United States (US) legislative initiatives at the federal level proposing to link imports from developing countries to climate change policy. Section 4 examines whether the current...
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