Title: The WTO and environmental sustainability: is there a conflict?

Authors: Ken Belcher, Anna L. Hobbs, William A. Kerr

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 5A8, Canada. Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, Saskatoon S7K 5T6, Canada. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 5A8, Canada

Abstract: In recent years, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been the focus for many complaints involving environmentally-based trade disputes between countries. As a result, there has been increasing pressure for the WTO to explicitly address environmental issues in its governance of barriers to international trade. In this paper, we examine the main areas of conflict between WTO provisions and sustainable management of the environment. In particular, we highlight potential impacts, both negative and positive, of trade liberalisation and WTO principles for environmental sustainability. Finally, we discuss measures for resolving the trade-environment controversy.

Keywords: international organisations; multilateral environmental agreements; sustainability; trade; WTO.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2003.002360

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2003 Vol.2 No.1, pp.2-18

Available online: 16 Jul 2003 *

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