WTO and Environment

Relationship between WTO and Environment

Relationship between WTO and Environment 

Relationship between WTO and Environment – The world trade organisation is deeply connected with climate change. This will focus on the connection between the two. The various issues that have come forward in the committee on trade and environment, WTO.

There are several rules in the WTO that have an implication on the relationship between trade and climate change, as well as measures relating to climate change that maybe constrained by the rules of the WTO.

The rules include those relating to Tarrifs, the non-discrimination principle, standards, subsidies and intellectual property.

WTO and Environment

Goals and rules of WTO to facilitate international environmental goals

1. The sustainable development and environmental protection are the goals of the WTO

Sustainable development and protection and preservation of the environment are two objectives that are fundamental to WTO. These goals go hand in hand with WTO’s objective to reduce trade barriers and eliminate discriminatory treatment in international trade relations.

WTO creates an obligation on member states to ensure proper create incentives in order to promote eco-friendly technologies.

2. Trade liberalisation

In order to achieve its goal of sustainable development and protection of the environment. WTO strives to liberalize the trade of environmental goods by providing a stable environment which enhances the possibility of innovation. It was in the 1992 Rio summit. 2002 Johannesburg summit. And the 2005 UN world submit that the contribution of trade towards sustainable development and the environment was recognized.

3. WTO rules aimed towards protecting the environment

WTO‘s goal of sustainable development along with environmental protection can also be seen in its rules. The fundamental principles of non-discrimination, transparency and predictability provide the member states a framework to address environmental concerns some of the agreements which specifically highlight principles are:

  • Agreement on technical barriers to trade (ensures discriminatory technical regulations are not implemented)
  • The Agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures (sets basic rule for food safety; animal and plant health.
  • GATT

4. WTO has covered environmental measures in several cases

The WTO dispute settlement body has dealt with several disputes concerning environment related Trade measures. It has been affirmed of WTO jurisprudence that WTO rules do not take precedence over environmental concerns. Some of the cases worth mentioning are:

  • US — shrimp (conservation of sea turtles).
  • Asbestos case (A member could ban the importation of Asbestos to protect its citizens and construction workers.

5. Support of WTO institutions

The WTO also supports its environmental goals through specialized committees. Some of the major committees which facilitate sustainable development and environment are:

  • Committee on trade and environment (CTE) (a form for dialogue on trade and the environment)
  • Technical barriers to trade agreement (which deals with the regulations, standards testing and certification procedures).

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