CEPS Commentary/ Climate Change Meets Trade: The rapidly expanding agenda in the post-Bali period

Thomas Brewer
2008 unpublished
vents during the Bali COP-13/MOP-3 international climate change conference in December 2007 made it abundantly clear that climate change and international trade issues have now intersected to create a new, wide-ranging and rapidly-expanding joint climate-trade agenda. The most conspicuous and symbolic such event during the Bali conference was the informal trade ministers meeting-the first trade ministers meeting in history held during a climate change conference. However, a variety of
more » ... ariety of developments over the past few years-and especially in recent months-outside the formal venues of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have also caused diverse and recurrent intersections of climate and trade issues. Such intersections are likely to increase in number and significance for some years to come. Among the numerous types of intersections that have already emerged are the following: Offsetting border measures that address international competitiveness concerns. Such measures have been discussed in the European High-Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and Environment and are considered in the review of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Offsetting border measures are also proposed in pending climate change legislation in the US Congress. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, investment and technology transfer of climate-friendly goods and services. Elimination of such tariffs on a list of manufactured goods was proposed jointly by the EU and US in late November 2007, a few days before the beginning of the Bali conference. Policies that promote exports, foreign direct investments and technology transfers, especially to emerging economies. Such policies have been imbedded, for instance, in US energy legislation. International climate change technology cooperation agreements. The Asia Pacific Partnership, for instance, includes on its agenda the reduction of barriers to trade and investment in renewable energy goods and services. Climate-related and trade-related international conflict and domestic legal actions concerning the international aviation and maritime shipping industries.