New Report: “Trade In Balance: Reconciling Trade & Climate Policy”

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Above Photo: Flickr/Tim & Selena Middleton

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) are pleased to announce the publication of a new report, “Trade in the Balance: Reconciling Trade and Climate Policy.”

The report is the outcome of the Working Group on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy convened by Boston University’s GEGI and Georgetown University Law Center’s Harrison Institute for Public Law in April 2016, a group of trade policy experts and climate policy experts from China, North America, and Europe.

The working group emphasizes that trade and investment treaties can be instruments to advance the global climate and development agenda, but that the prevailing model of trade and investment treaties is largely incompatible with the world’s broader climate goals. The model rules for trade and investment treaties need to be redesigned with an overriding principle to reward climate-friendly modes of economic activity, curb activity that worsens climate change, and provide the proper policy space so that nation-states can adequately address the climate challenge. At the very minimum, the trade model should be adjusted in such a way that treaties do not result in net increases of emissions.

The report provides timely insights about the alignment of climate and trade policy as the Paris Agreement enters into force and the next round of UN climate talks take place in Marrakech from November 7-18. The authors explore opportunities and barriers for alignment of the Paris Agreement’s global climate commitments with trade agreements under negotiation in 2016, such as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between the U.S. and China, and between the U.S. and India.

The Working Group on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy is co-chaired by Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow Kevin P. Gallagher (Professor of Global Development Policy, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University and co-director of GEGI) and Matthew C. Porterfield (Harrison Institute for Public Law, Georgetown University). The Pardee Center provided support for the working group and produced this report.