NAFTA in Transition

By Stephen J. Randall; Herman W. Konrad | Go to book overview

Dixon Thompson Faculty of Environmental Science University of Calgary


18
The NAFTA Parallel Accord
on the Environment

INTRODUCTION

The entire backdrop against which trade and environment issues are discussed has changed dramatically since 1991. This revised paper will review the most important advances, which include international agreements, especially Brazil '92; increased attention to environmental issues by international organizations; the publication of a number of influential books; the evolution and application of a set of environmental management tools; and the signing of the parallel environmental accord to NAFTA and the appointments to the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation and the establishment of its Secretariat in Montreal.


RECAPITULATION

The links between the environment and the economy identified in the Brundtland Report,1 and hence the links between trade and the environment, have been widely acknowledged by the international community. The global problems which require international approaches unfortunately are still with us: global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, trade in endangered species, hazardous waste, and contamination of the Arctic with volatile persistent toxic chemicals. At the regional level in North America, we still face problems with migratory species, acid rain and air pollution, and water quality and quantity. Domestic issues, especially related to fisheries and forestry, continue and will be influenced by the practices and attitudes established by NAFTA.

The nature of international environmental issues, and particularly those related to the NAFTA partners, has been summarized recently,

____________________
1
The World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future ( Oxford University Press, 1987).

-311-

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