The Kyoto Protocol and the WTO: Integrating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allowance Trading into the Global Marketplace

By Petsonk, Annie | Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Fall 1999 | Go to article overview

The Kyoto Protocol and the WTO: Integrating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allowance Trading into the Global Marketplace


Petsonk, Annie, Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum


SUMMARY

This article explores the relationship between the newly emerging market for tradable greenhouse gas emissions allowances established by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change and the rule-based frameworks of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The paper finds that the greenhouse gas emissions reduction responsibilities and emissions trading rights established by the Kyoto Protocol do not conflict in any way with the responsibilities and rights of the nations under the WTO Agreements governing trade in goods, services, and the provision of subsidies. Rather, the emissions trading structure of the Kyoto Protocol deploys a rule-based system of "free trade" in emissions allowances to benefit the environment in a manner that is fully compatible with the WTO system.

The article cautions, however, that if governments implement their Kyoto Protocol obligations by placing quantitative restrictions on trade in allowances, or arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminating against certain nations engaged in emissions trading, such measures might raise WTO issues at the same time that they would diminish the environmental effectiveness of the protocol.

The article recommends that in designing rules for the Kyoto Protocol's multilateral emissions trading system and structuring national implementation of Protocol obligations, governments can maximize environmental and economic benefits if they refrain from raising non-tariff barriers to trade in emission allowances, and avoid imposing quantitative restrictions on, or arbitrarily discriminating against, such trade.

The article concludes that by following these recommendations, governments enhance the potential for the Kyoto Protocol to achieve real, significant, and cost-effective reductions in emissions of global warming gasses, while reducing the likelihood that their implementation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures would raise any inconsistency with their responsibilities under the multilateral trading system.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Responsibilities and Rights of Nations Under The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change

Experience with market-based approaches to environmental protection at local, regional, and national levels has demonstrated that such programs, if properly designed, can achieve improved environmental results faster, and at less cost, than "command-and-control" approaches, technology mandates, operational performance standards, or taxes.(1) International experience with these instruments includes their use in fisheries management and in a limited number of international emissions allowance transactions. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change(2) has the potential to create the first truly global demonstration of the power of environmental markets to deliver improved environmental results by providing incentives for countries, companies, and communities to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. Because it offers this potential, in a market-based "trading" framework that has the potential to integrate smoothly into the existing international framework of trade in goods and services, the Protocol is attracting attention and interest at local, national, regional, and global levels. This article examines the relationship between the emissions trading systems established by the Kyoto Protocol and the trade rules established by the World Trade Organization (WTO).(3)

Beginning in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a series of reports indicating that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), which are being emitted into the atmosphere in ever greater amounts due to human activities, have the potential to cause serious climate disruption.(4) In Earth's atmosphere, GHGs trap heat that would otherwise radiate into space. Unchecked, anthropogenic emission of GHGs is expected to contribute to an accelerated warming of the planet, with potentially dangerous interference in the world's climate system. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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

The Kyoto Protocol and the WTO: Integrating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allowance Trading into the Global Marketplace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.