Free Trade and Climate Change: Avoiding a Conflict
As the world prepares for the Copenhagen summit in December, it is becoming increasingly clear that ambitions of a grand, all-encompassing, binding agreement – including developed as well as developing countries – will not be reached. As an alternative, some countries are now suggesting that carbon based trade restrictions should be imposed on countries that are not undertaking acceptable bindings, or reductions, of future carbon emissions. Such restrictions, it is said, would prevent “carbon leakage” and motivate countries to undertake reductions or sign up to binding caps. However, this idea is not the only one involving a conflict between free trade and climate change. Trade distortive policies motivated by the ambition to slow down climate change have been in place in Europe for some time, for example in EU’s biofuels policy.
Punitive trade measures are not new, but do they help to achieve environmental goals? And can they be squared with ambitions to foster economic development in developing countries?
We are very pleased to invite you to a seminar with Professor Arvind Panagariya. He is a world leading expert on trade and development, and has just finished a new book on trade and climate change policy in developing countries, India in particular. Formerly the Chief Economist of Asia Development Bank, Dr. Panagariya is today a Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University in New York. ECIPE’s Director, Fredrik Erixon, will chair the meeting and give an introduction to a forthcoming paper about punitive trade measures.
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