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Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?

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  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    (East-West Center)

Abstract

The climate-trade nexus gains increasing attention as governments are taking great efforts to forge a post-2012 climate change regime to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. This raises the issues of the scope of trade-related measures and of when and how they could be used. This paper discusses how far trade-related measures should be incorporated in that context. Drawing on an analogy to the Montreal Protocol and comparing developing country’s climate mitigation and adaptation needs with the funding available, the paper argues that such measures should initially be applied only among Annex I or II countries. To discipline the use of unilateral trade measures at the international level, the paper emphasizes a need to define comparable climate efforts. Moreover, the Lieberman-Warner bill in the U.S. Senate - taken as a proxy for future U.S. climate legislation - is assessed, and found to be neither effective nor likely to be WTO-consistent. The paper is concluded by arguing that, in order to encourage developing countries to do more to combat climate change, developed countries should focus on carrots. Sticks can be incorporated, but only if they are credible and realistic and serve as a useful supplement to push developing countries to take actions or adopt policies and measures earlier than would otherwise have been the case.

Suggested Citation

  • ZhongXiang Zhang, 2009. "Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Working Papers 2009.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.81
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. ZhongXiang Zhang & Lucas Assunao, 2004. "Domestic Climate Policies and the WTO," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 359-386, March.
    2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2003. "Open Trade with the U.S. without Compromising Canada’s Ability to Comply with its Kyoto Target," Working Papers 2003.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Zhongxiang Zhang, 2007. "Why has China not embraced a global cap-and-trade regime?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 166-170, March.
    4. ZhongXiang Zhang, 1998. "The Economics of Energy Policy in China," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1291.
    5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "How far can developing country commitments go in an immediate post-2012 climate regime?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1753-1757, May.
    6. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "Can China afford to commit itself an emissions cap? An economic and political analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 587-614, December.
    7. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian energy and environmental policy: Promoting growth while preserving the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3905-3924, October.
    8. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Steve Charnovitz & Jisun Kim, 2009. "Global Warming and the World Trading System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4280.
    9. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2010. "Is it fair to treat China as a Christmas tree to hang everybody's complaints? Putting its own energy saving into perspective," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(Supplemen), pages 47-56, September.
    10. James Poterba & Julio Rotemberg, 1995. "Environmental taxes on intermediate and final goods when both can be imported," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 221-228, August.
    11. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
    12. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2007. "Is action against US exports for failure to sign Kyoto Protocol WTO-legal?," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 299-310, July.
    13. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1998. "Greenhouse gas emissions trading and the world trading system," MPRA Paper 12971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Roland Ismer & Karsten Neuhoff, 2007. "Border tax adjustment: a feasible way to support stringent emission trading," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 137-164, October.
    15. Emma Paulsson, 2009. "A review of the CDM literature: from fine-tuning to critical scrutiny?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 63-80, February.
    16. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 1999. "Should the rules of allocating emissions permits be harmonised?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 11-18, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 2012. "Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns and Border Carbon Adjustments," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 225-287, December.
    2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2013. "Trade in environmental goods, with focus on climate-friendly goods and technologies," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO, chapter 19, pages 673-699 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Climate Change Meets Trade in Promoting Green Growth: Potential Conflicts and Synergies," Chapters,in: Responding to Climate Change, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Who should bear the cost of China’s carbon emissions embodied in goods for exports?," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 24(2), pages 103-117, June.
    5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "Liberalizing climate-friendly goods and technologies in WTO environmental goods negotiations: product coverage, modalities, challenges and the way forward," MPRA Paper 16943, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Aug 2009.
    6. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2015. "Carbon-based border tax adjustments and China’s international trade: analysis based on a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(2), pages 329-360, April.
    7. Zhongxiang Zhang, 2011. "In what format and under what timeframe would China take on climate commitments? A roadmap to 2050," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 245-259, September.
    8. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "The U.S. proposed carbon tariffs, WTO scrutiny and China’s responses," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 203-225, August.
    9. Lucas Bretschger & Alexandra Vinogradova, 2015. "Equitable and effective climate policy: Integrating less developed countries into a global climate agreement," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 437-467, October.
    10. Chen, G.Q. & Zhang, Bo, 2010. "Greenhouse gas emissions in China 2007: Inventory and input-output analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6180-6193, October.
    11. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2010. "China in the transition to a low-carbon economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6638-6653, November.
    12. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Breaking the Impasse in International Climate Negotiations: A New Direction for Currently Flawed Negotiations and a Roadmap for China to 2050," Working Papers 2011.49, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    13. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 77-94.
    14. Stine Aakre, 2016. "The political feasibility of potent enforcement in a post-Kyoto climate agreement," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 145-159, February.
    15. Junko Mochizuki & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2011. "Environmental Security and its Implications for China’s Foreign Relations," Working Papers 2011.30, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    16. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2014. "Programs, Prices and Policies Towards Energy Conservation and Environmental Quality in China," Working Papers 249427, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    17. Jan T. Mizgajski, 2013. "CO2 Embodied in Trade between Poland and Selected Countries," Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, Alliance of Central-Eastern European Universities, vol. 2(4), pages 48-60, September.
    18. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Effective environmental protection in the context of government decentralization," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 53-82, March.
    19. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2010. "The US proposed carbon tariffs and China's responses," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2168-2170, May.
    20. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhingXiang & Qiao, Han & Wang, Shouyang, 2012. "Impact of Border Carbon Adjustments on China’s Sectoral Emissions: Simulations with a Dynamic Computable General Equilibirum Model," Working Papers 249391, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Post-2012 climate negotiations; Trade-related measures; Lieberman-Warner bill; WTO; Montreal Protocol; Developing countries; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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