Volume 51 (2017)

Volume 51 (2017) / Issue 1

Michael O. Moore, 'Carbon Safeguard? Managing the Friction Between Trade Rules and Climate Policy' (2017) 51 Journal of World Trade, Issue 1, pp. 43–66


The December 2015 Paris agreement on climate change did not include an enforcement mechanism. Long-recognized potential frictions between climate goals and trade rules therefore remain. This article will present a concrete policy solution that both ensures continued adherence to core multilateral trade commitments while allowing nations to pursue independent greenhouse gas mitigation policies. A ‘carbon safeguard’ would allow for border adjustments on select imports from countries with less onerous carbon pricing policies but only after demonstration of injury to a domestic industry as a result of differential carbon policies. This process would concentrate complicated carbon border adjustments on a small subset of carbon-intensive and trade-sensitive sectors but continue broad adherence to the long-standing WTO ‘national treatment’ principle. The structure also would incorporate hard-earned lessons from trade remedy procedures under current WTO rules.

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ISSN: 1011-6702
ID: TRAD2017003