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 15: Increasing Environmentally Beneficial Trade

Tracey Epps and Andrew Green

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


One of the pathways identified for achieving convergence between climate change and trade objectives is the development of multilateral measures. This chapter addresses the potential for multilateral agreement to increase trade in environmental goods and services (EGS). It begins by examining the case for liberalization, discusses what is meant by EGS, and considers developments in international negotiations to date. It concludes by considering what institutional framework might be most appropriate for liberalization of EGS given the overriding goals of climate change mitigation, deterrence of protectionism, and development. 15.1 WHY EGS LIBERALIZATION? Liberalization of EGS was mandated in the Doha Ministerial Declaration of 2001, which called for the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers of environmental goods and services.1 Negotiations have taken place across various WTO committees. The Negotiating Group on Market Access for Non-Agricultural (NAMA) Products is responsible for negotiations on modalities for liberalization of environmental goods. The Council for Trade in Services in Special Session is responsible for environmental services, which are being negotiated as part of the broader services negotiations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Finally, the Committee on Trade and Environment in Special Session (CTESS) has the task of defining what is included in the category of EGS.2 Progress on all three fronts has been slow. In particular, the NAMA negotiations cannot progress on environ- Para. 31(iii). In addition, at a meeting in 2002, it was agreed that the CTE in Special Session would keep track of the...

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