Reconciling Trade and Climate

Reconciling Trade and Climate

How the WTO Can Help Address Climate Change

Elgar International Economic Law series

Tracey Epps and Andrew Green

This timely book addresses the interaction between policies addressing climate change and the rules of the WTO. The authors expertly examine the law and economics behind the application of trade rules in the area of climate, including the implications of WTO rules for domestic climate measures, the unilateral use of trade measures to attempt to force other countries to take climate action, and the role of trade measures in multilateral climate agreements. The book argues that while there is a possibility of conflict between international trade rules and progress on climate change, it need not be the case. Thus the major focus is on the ways in which trade measures can aid in addressing climate change.

Chapter 4: The Role of Trade Measures in Addressing Climate Change

Tracey Epps and Andrew Green

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


INTRODUCTION The fundamental premise of this book is that the international trading regime and efforts to address climate change are not only inextricably linked but that synergies can be found between them that will enable achievement of environmental, trade and development goals. Understanding these linkages and possible synergies is critical for governments, policy-makers, academics, and others engaged with either endeavour. International trade is important to economic growth and prosperity in both developed and developing countries, whilst projections are that climate change will have significant impact on societies throughout the world (although current projections show that some countries will lose more than others and that there may, at least in the short term, even be some ‘winners’ from climate change). Linkages between the international trading regime and efforts to address climate change require governments and policy-makers in each area to take account of the other. Trade rules may both constrain and facilitate action to address climate change, while actions taken to address climate change will in some cases have important implications for trading relationships. In this chapter, we introduce the three different types of linkages between trade and climate change to be examined. A key theme of the book is that international trade rules need not conflict with action on climate change. On the contrary, trade institutions and the rules they monitor can aid efforts to address climate change, both in terms of domestic actions to reduce emissions and in terms of encouraging participation and compliance with multilateral climate change agreements....

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