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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2021

Towards An Environmental Goods Agreement STyle (EGAST) agenda to improve the regime complex for Climate Change

Abstract

Ever since the creation of the WTO, attempts at bringing together the trade and climate regime have failed. This paper reviews attempts at reducing tariffs on products classified as Environmental Goods (EGs), causes of failure in past attempts, and suggests requirements for a meaningful agenda in future attempts. The start is the failure at the negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations started in 2014 and abandoned in 2016. Discussion on prospects is around elements that would enter 'EGA-STyle' (EGAST) negotiations among a small group of countries. The paper starts with new descriptive data on the inclusion of provisions in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) across the world encouraging trade in EGs. However, the presence of these provisions in RTAs has not been reflected in increased bilateral trade in EGs among RTA members, confirming the relevance of continuing to revive momentum to reduce barriers to trade in EGs. Discussion of reasons for failure at the EGA (and earlier at the Doha Round) follow. An EGAST agenda should go beyond the elimination of ‘nuisance tariffs’ to include high energy-efficiency EGs and high-tariff products. The EG list should also include Environmentally Preferable Products. As to the difficult-to-detect Non-tariff Barriers (e.g. non-tariff measures), among which some are protectionist in intent, they should be included in the agenda up for mutual recognition. The paper concludes that EGAST negotiations to reduce barriers to trade in EGs would still be a promising avenue for rapprochement between the trade and climate regimes.
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Dates and versions

hal-03201725 , version 1 (19-04-2021)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03201725 , version 1

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Jaime de Melo, Jean-Marc Solleder. Towards An Environmental Goods Agreement STyle (EGAST) agenda to improve the regime complex for Climate Change. 2021. ⟨hal-03201725⟩

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