While it is common to oppose trade objectives to environmental concerns, it is equally common to oppose multilateralism to bilateralism. However, these dichotomies are not inevitable. Bilateral trade agreements can serve the purpose of multilateral environmental agreements.
Recently, the European Union (EU) announced that all its future preferential trade agreements (PTAs) need to include a reference to the ratification and implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, starting with the trade agreement concluded last year between the EU and Japan. Indeed, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership includes a reaffirmation of the commitment to implement […]
Multilateral negotiations on climate change are slow and often disappointing. Accordingly, policy and scholarly attention has been diverted towards climate-policy developments elsewhere. Many have explored the progress made by regional governments, city networks, and transnational partnerships in tackling climate change. Yet, the potential contribution of trade agreements to climate governance remains underexplored.
In a recent paper, Joost Pauwelyn, James Hollway and I use TREND dataset to detect when a specific type of environmental provision appeared for the first time in a trade agreement. With these results, we can track the most innovative agreements and innovative countries.
Pundits frequently oppose US and EU models for dealing with the environment. The former is said to promote an evidence-based approach while the latter privileges a precautionary approach. Yet, as the TREND dataset reveals , opposing the US and the EU models can be a misleading caricature.