Reconciling Trade and Climate Policies

The outcome of the 15th conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen showed a shift from a top-down approach with a collective target favoring environmental objectives to a bottom-up accord favoring political feasibility. There is no meaningful binding agreement in sight, also because the global climate regime and the global trade policy regime appear to be on a collision course. Following a review of the challenges ahead, the paper argues that trade will have a second-order contribution to world-wide CO2 emissions. Evidence shows increasing carbon transfers through trade, but the magnitude of carbon leakage effects may be less than feared in some circles.

Mathys, N., et J. de Melo. 2012. "Reconciling Trade and Climate Policies" Ferdi, Document de travail P37, février 2012