Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh
Chapter 30: Environment, International Trade and Development
Harmen Verbruggen 1. Introduction The environment, trade and development nexus is approached here from the perspective of the pursuit of a global sustainable development, with special emphasis on the North-South dimension. Whereas the other authors in this part of this book deal with various international aspects of environmental policy, and the chapter by Barbier (Chapter 50 in Part VI) discusses environment and development, the focus of this chapter is on the interface between environment, trade and development. Sections 2 and 3 attempt to conceptualize this interface by emphasizing the fundamental question of the intra- and intergenerational attribution of the earth’s environmental capital between the North and the South. It will become clear that equity and development aspirations are at the heart of this distributional problem. Alternative distributions will lead to differences between the North and the South regarding the extent to which the scarcity value of environmental goods is priced. Changing comparative advantages will, in turn, be the result. Hence trade is pivotal, at least at a conceptual level (Anderson and Blackhurst, 1992; Verbruggen and Kuik, 1997).l Section 4 tries to shed light on the possible directions of these changing comparative advantages. Section 5 briefly discusses two of the currently most debated environment-and-trade issues, notably in the WTO circuit, namely trade measures pursuant to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and eco-labelling schemes. Finally, Section 6 touches upon the design of an international system of environmental governance. 2. Conceptualizing the environment, trade and development nexus Inherent to the concept of sustainable...
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