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BOOK chapter / Energy Law & Policy

Carbon Constraining Policies in the Light of the Multilateral Trading Regime

Author(s): AHNER Nicole

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ABSTRACT

Climate change regulatory policies cannot be viewed in isolation from those rules that govern international commerce. In fact, greenhouse gas regulation and as such the protection of the environment is one area demonstrating the significant impact of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on states’ domestic policies. The international trading system can constrain the autonomy of its members to pursue social objectives such as environmental protection. But to what extent does the multilateral trading regime actually impede the implementation of climate change policies? Yet, much has been written about possible trade-related measures in climate programs to address carbon leakage and competitiveness. This chapter aims to provide an analysis of international trade rules as they relate to the mitigation of climate change. It discusses border adjustments in the form of emission allowances for importers and border tax adjustments, technical regulations and subsidies.