The Scope of Protection against Climate Change in WTO Law: Some Introductory Considerations
26 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2020 Last revised: 31 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 19, 2020
Abstract: While international climate change law is increasingly getting more importance under public international law, the question is how wide a scope it has in World Trade Organization (WTO) law. The latter is based on principles of improved trade between its Members which potentially may conflict with climate change law. However, the exceptions of Art. XX of GATT 1994 provides wide space for unilateral measures to protect against climate change. The question is whether that space can extend to production processes in the exporting states. After all, states are under an obligation of public international law not to cause harm in neighboring states. The paper addresses these issues and concludes that—although there might be interpretative space for a wide application of exceptions of WTO law to include production processes—it would nevertheless be recommended that WTO law clarifies these dimensions of overlaps between WTO law and international climate change law.
Keywords: Climate change, WTO law, Extra-territorial jurisdiction, International climate change law
JEL Classification: K32, K33, F18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation