Trade Measures In Multilateral Environmental Agreements

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Closer cooperation between EEA secretariats and WTO committees is essential to ensure that trade and environmental systems evolve in a coherent manner. This objective was recognized in the Implementation Plan for the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, which calls for greater cooperation between UNEP and other UN bodies and specialized institutions, the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO within their mandate. Multilateral Environmental Agreements (ETAs) are an important way for countries to address environmental issues, particularly those with international or global significance. More than 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) are currently in force and deal with various environmental issues. Some 20 of these MEAs contain provisions to control trade in order to avoid environmental damage: various forms of cooperation and exchange of information between WTO SECRETARIAts and the MEA already exist (see the document on cooperation ENTRE THE WTO and UNEP/MEAS). These include briefings of the WTO`s Committee on Trade and the Environment with the MEA secretariats; The exchange of documents cooperation between the WTO and UNEP and MEA on providing technical assistance to developing countries during years of trade and the environment; and the organisation of ancillary events by the WTO secretariat on the sidelines of the AME meetings of their parties. Since the beginning of the negotiations, a number of concrete elements have been proposed to improve or complement these existing elements. These negotiations aim to reaffirm the importance of trade and environmental policy in the interests of both areas. They focus on how WTO rules apply to WTO members who are parties to environmental agreements, including clarifying the link between certain trade measures taken under environmental agreements and WTO rules. There are more than 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) that deal with various environmental issues that are currently in force. About 20 of them contain provisions that could affect trade.

They may include, for example, measures prohibiting trade in certain types or products or allowing countries to restrict trade in certain circumstances. Keywords: Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA), Trade Measures, Austerity Clause, GATT, WTO So far, no formal dispute has been brought to the WTO regarding a measure under a multilateral environmental agreement. However, the complexity of the relationship between environmental and trade rules was highlighted in the case of Chile Swordfish. The Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Trade and the Environment sets out the work programme of the Committee on Trade and the Environment (CTE). Points 1 and 5 relate to the relationship between the rules of the multilateral trading system and the trade measures contained in THE MEAs, as well as between their dispute settlement mechanisms. In addition to examining the link between specific trade commitments in environmental agreements and WTO rules, the negotiations also examined procedures for MEA secretariats and regular WTO information exchange committees. Since the beginning of the negotiations, discussions have focused on the scope of the negotiating mandate (including the definition of specific trade commitments) and the possible outcomes of the negotiations.

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