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New post by Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Thais Núnez-Rocha and Chahir Zaki

05 February 2024 Blog
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How can trade agreements in international trade help preserve the environment?

By Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Professor at Göttingen University and Jaume I University,

Thaís Núñez Rocha, Associate Professor at the Université d'Orléans, at the Laboratoire d'économie d'Orléans, and

Chahir Zaki, Professor of Economics, Université d'Orléans, Laboratoire d'économie d'Orléans and Economic Research Forum.

To avoid the serious consequences of climate change, a significant decarbonization of economic activities is necessary. In this post, we examine the extent to which international trade can play a positive role for the environment. By studying the environmental provisions of trade agreements, we show that their depth, particularly their binding dimension, is crucial to reducing pollution. The inclusion of more comprehensive environmental provisions in trade agreements could bring them into line with sustainable development objectives. However, the mere existence of an environmental clause does not necessarily have a concrete and tangible effect on trade. Indeed, while the de jure dimension is necessary, it is not sufficient. Making clauses legally enforceable at international level and subject to dispute settlement - the de facto dimension - makes them more effective.

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