The World Trade Organization and the Environment

By P. K. Rao | Go to book overview

8
New Role for the WTO

8.1
Revising the WTO articles for environmental provisions

Much of the approach and specifications in the WTO charter regarding the environment is at best one of conciliation and concession rendering rather than one of recognition of direct and indirect linkages between economic and environmental features, their dynamic interdependence and the design of policies with less than impatient exploitation of resources of the planet. Despite an eloquent statement in the preamble to the WTO Article of Agreement, little else seems to contribute to that proposed foundation. No doubt, the WTO is not to be deemed as an environmental protection agency and that it should maintain its focus on the governance of the multilateral trading system as per its charter. This assertion also specifies a duty to act: the specified tasks include, inter alia, coherence with within and across various articles of the WTO charter. The WTO working rules cannot ignore the foundation in the preamble. Such a mechanism is not expected to enhance the functioning of the institution nor its contribution to the stated objectives.

The preamble relating to requirements of protection of the environment and natural resources, compliance with sustainable development in the WTO Articles did not get reflected in the new GATT 1994; its interpretation for application of trade and environmental principles continues to fail to recognize the role of environment in most trade disputes. Since the new GATS is more like a twin entity of the GATT, the same terminology and interpretation of various

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The World Trade Organization and the Environment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures x
  • List of Boxes xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xiii
  • List of Abbreviations xv
  • Part I - Background 1
  • 1 - Global Trade Regimes 3
  • 1.5 - Concluding Observations 25
  • Appendix II - Gatt 1994 26
  • Appendix III - Regional Trade Regimes 27
  • References 28
  • 2 - Trade, Environment and Development 31
  • References 52
  • 3 - Multilateral Environmental Agreements 55
  • References 70
  • Part II - The World Trade Organization 73
  • 4 - Wto Articles of Agreement and Beyond 75
  • Appendix Ii: Wto Structure 90
  • Appendix Iii: Agreement on Tbt 91
  • References 93
  • 5 - Trade Policies and Environmental Provisions 95
  • Appendix I - Committee on Trade and Environment 114
  • Appendix II Extract of the Sps Agreement 115
  • References 117
  • 6 - Dispute Resolution Mechanisms 119
  • Appendix I - The Dispute Settlement Panel Process 132
  • Appendix II - Trade Disputes on Bananas 133
  • References 136
  • Part III - Policy Implications 139
  • 7 - International Trade and Environment: an Integration 141
  • References 162
  • 8 - New Role for the Wto 165
  • References 176
  • 9 - Towards a Better Future 177
  • References 181
  • Index 183
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