WTO | Trade and environment
But trade can also lead to beneficial impacts on the environment by allowing environmental countries to retain weak environmental regulations, in order to improve their international What is the link between trade, innovation and growth?. Although, the international trade-environment relationship is a very debated Complex relationships between international trade and the environment is one of . Part of the Environmental Law Commons, International Law Commons, and the claims that the relationship between trade and environment is entering a new.
Mutually supportive policies do not happen automatically. In addition to being based on a solid understanding of the linkages between trade and environment, transparency, consultation, cooperation and coordination both domestically and internationally are required to seek creative solutions to emerging environmental issues resulting from increased trade liberalization.
Environmental assessment is a key tool to help improve and ensure the coherence between trade policy and environmental protection. The Framework is the result of extensive public consultations.
The Relationship between International Environmental and Trade Agreements
It is assisting Canadian trade negotiators to integrate environmental considerations into the negotiations of trade agreements. DFAIT is leading this multi-disciplinary exercise in close collaboration with Environment Canada, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and other relevant federal departments and agencies. For more details on these environmental assessments, I invite you to consult the Department's Web site: By working to ensure that economic and environmental policies are mutually supportive and that sound environmental management systems are in place, we increase the probability that good environmental decisions will be made with respect to new investments and expanded commerce, and that the increased economic activity will be environmentally sustainable over the longer term.
As regards your comments related to Canada's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, I am confident that this challenge will be met through development and advancement of innovative Canadian technology. Such innovations can ultimately lead to Canadian firms earning emission reduction credits through their participation in overseas projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in developing countries.
This is especially true when we view trade not simply as an end in itself, but rather as a tool for promoting broader public interests. This is why Canada is seeking to develop trade policy that better integrates economic, environmental and social considerations; in short, trade policy with sustainable development as the overarching goal.
Trade and environment - OECD
They are finding innovative ways to address pollution, involving the use of pollution taxes or charges, greater transparency - successful in reducing pollution in Indonesia and the Philippines - and the creation of new industrial parks for heavy industries, such as steel and chemicals, that achieve high levels of materials recovery, recycling and waste treatment.
Openness to trade and investment can provide a country with the incentive to adopt, and improve access to, new environmental technologies. As a country becomes more integrated with the world economy, its export sector becomes more exposed to environmental requirements imposed by the leading importers.
Changes needed to meet these requirements, in turn, flow backwards along the supply chain, stimulating the use of cleaner production processes and technologies. The early adoption of environmental regulations has been helped in many ways including by the spread of bilateral and regional trade agreements between developed and developing countries which typically provide resources and institutions for information exchange and capacity building, and encourage the less economically developed partner to strengthen its environmental regulations.
The relationship between international trade and the environment
For this to occur, the cost of meeting environmental regulations would have to be significant enough to counteract the other factors that determine international competitiveness and that influence investment decisions: Numerous analyses have shown that the cost of avoiding or treating most pollutants adds only a few percentage points to total production costs; in brief, there is little that countries can gain from becoming pollution havens but they would have a lot to lose in the long run if environmental degradation affects their own competitiveness.
Emissions of greenhouse gases GHGs may be the notable exception. The cost of mitigating emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common GHG, can be significant for industries that consume large amounts of fossil fuels or which produce large quantities of GHGs such as agriculture.
Moreover, carbon dioxide, unlike carbon monoxide or sulphur dioxide, poses no immediate danger to people or property close to the emitter. Rather, it contributes to the phenomenon of global climate change. Countries that are attempting to impose caps on GHG emissions within their own borders are concerned that industries that are both potentially large emitters of GHGs, and vulnerable to competition through trade, will shift production to countries that are not limiting their GHG emissions - so-called carbon leakage.
Analyses suggest that this concern is likely to be valid for only a few heavy industries - notably, metal manufacturing. Other industries, such as glass-making and cement manufacturing, are to some extent vulnerable, but their products generally have lower unit value than metals, and therefore the need to produce close to final consumers and avoid high transport costs is strong.
For the future, a global climate regime could eliminate potential carbon leakage, through emissions limitations in a broader group of countries or specific co-operative approaches on sectoral action in the most carbon intensive sectors. In this way, governments can help promote a low-carbon economy and provide the first mover advantage to companies first developing low-emitting technologies. How can environmental interests be achieved?
Effective environmental policies and institutional frameworks are needed at the local, national, regional, and international levels.