The World Trade Organization and the Environment

By P. K. Rao | Go to book overview
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2
Trade, Environment and Development

2.1
Introduction

The linkages between trade, environment and development remain very significant. With an ever increasing economic globalization and interdependence, these linkages assume much greater importance than in the past. These issues deserve considerably greater focus in the international trade policy regimes. The costs of neglecting these integral dependencies is to engage in misguided trading operations which can precipitate in potentially irreversible environmental and hence economic impediments to sustainability of trade. The role and limitations of trade liberalization are discussed in the next section. The environmental implications of free trade, methods of internalizing environmental costs of trade, and an integration of trade with sustainable development are among the major aspects for discussion in this chapter.

The imperatives of sustainable development, those of international environmental laws, in addition to international trade laws are some of the major issues for discussion in this chapter. Some of the important linkages between trade, environment and development concern those of economic and environmental externalities: the uncompensated effects of trade and other economic activities, with non-local effects and long-term effects. This raises the problems of winners and losers in a broader sense, and also the corresponding management of fair and sustainable trade activities. Non-discrimination and reciprocity in trade relations between countries remain the main pillars of multilateral trade arrangements. It is

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