UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the WTO - Brewing Conflicts or Are They Mutually Supportive?

By Halvorssen, Anita M. | Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Summer-Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the WTO - Brewing Conflicts or Are They Mutually Supportive?


Halvorssen, Anita M., Denver Journal of International Law and Policy


I. INTRODUCTION

On December 10, 2008 Al Gore together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2) received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that it awarded the prize to promote peace and security:

   Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be
   treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary
   principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may
   alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They
   may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition
   for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly
   heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may
   be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and
   between states. (3)

In its fourth report published in February of 2007, the IPCC confirmed that greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities have "very likely" (90% probability) caused the increase in temperatures since 1750. (4) The IPCC's synthesis report shows that the level of GHGs has already reached critical levels. (5) The likely impacts of climate change include more frequent severe storms and droughts, sea level rise, ice cap and glacier melt, large-scale species extinctions, spread of disease carriers (of malaria, etc.) to more northernly latitudes, and 200 million environmental "refugees" by 2050. (6)

Lack of natural resources, violent conflicts, and wars, together with other effects of climate change will have major effects on the global economy. (7) As one scholar described the situation, "[e]ven a 3[degrees]C rise in global average temperature would devastate the global environment, place human survival in grave danger, and risk the collapse of the world economy." (8) The global response to climate change taken in the next 10-20 years could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on par with those associated with World War I (WWI), World War II (WWII) and the Great Depression. (9) Nicholas Stern projected that if action is not taken now, it may cost 5-20% of global GDP each year from now to address climate change. (10) In his report, Stern states: "climate change is a serious global threat, and it demands an urgent global response." (11) Just as other financial institutions are addressing climate change, the World Trade Organization (WTO) needs to be working on how it can address climate change issues related to trade in a comprehensive manner. (12) On the other hand, actions taken under the climate treaties should focus on how such measures can take advantage of trade liberalization (13) and avoid impediments to trade. This paper examines the relationship between the WTO and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with its Kyoto Protocol and indicates how it needs to change in order to facilitate the urgent action needed to address climate change. This paper then suggests that in the course of the Doha negotiations on trade and environment, the WTO membership should negotiate and adopt an agreement on the trade-related aspects of climate change law to promote emissions trading, address labeling requirements for GHG emissions and other climate-related process and production method (PPM)-based policy measures, and include the terms of the proposed agreement on trade in climate friendly technology. (14) In addition, this paper also recommends the establishment of a Committee on Trade and Climate Change to address all areas where climate issues intersect trade.

Part II gives an overview of the anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and how they are related to trade. Part III explains the goal, structure and trade-related articles of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, especially Kyoto's flexible market mechanisms. Part IV provides a short overview of the WTO's history, purpose, and dealings with environmental issues. Part V analyzes the points of convergence between the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and the WTO rules.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the WTO - Brewing Conflicts or Are They Mutually Supportive?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.