ICC recommendations on trade and climate change
Prepared by the Commission on Trade and Investment Policy and the Commission on Environment and Energy
Publication date : 23/02/2009 | Document Number : 103/291
Multilateral trade liberalization and the rules-based multilateral trading system have played a crucial role in the past 60 years in raising world living standards, creating employment, and widening consumer choice. They have also been indispensable in helping keep in check the ever-present forces of protectionism.
To maintain progress achieved,
governments should focus on ways to secure the mutually reinforcing
benefits of a strengthened rules-based multilateral trading system and a
new long-term and effective global framework for combating climate
change that includes all major emitters. They should not allow
themselves to be side-tracked in this momentous task by border measures
that would undermine intergovernmental cooperation and
damage international trade.
Proposals based on unilateral trade
measures attempt to address pressing and challenging political and
economic pressures. They seek to create a “level playing field” for
domestic industries subject to climate change policies, by targeting
competitors of these industries in other countries not subject to such
policies, and seeking to compel them to bear part of the cost of such
policies. These proposals are motivated by a desire, to offset what is
seen as the competitive advantage enjoyed by industries in
countries that are not subject to the same level of domestic climate
change policies, whether arising from international, regional or
domestic climate policies. Policy makers also express concern about the
relocation of energy intensive industries – a phenomenon often referred
to as carbon leakage -- and thus suggest that such measures are needed
to preserve the environmental integrity of domestic/regional schemes.
ICC believes that these challenges can be addressed in other ways that
work within a trade-climate change synergy.
For further information, please contact
Policy Manager, Trade and Investment Policies
+33 (0)1 49 53 28 43