Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

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Artist Luke Jerram's 'Floating Earth' at Pennington Flash in Wigan, England, which aims to prompt discussions on what individuals and societies can do to make lifestyles more sustainable. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Balancing trade and non-trade policy objectives

Marianne Schneider-Petsinger

The supply chain disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic highlight trade cannot be taken for granted, and economic interdependencies have both benefits and costs. As international commerce rebounds and trade policy is increasingly seen through the prism of enhancing resilience, the moment is ripe to redefine and reimagine trade.

The goal of trade policy has never been to increase trade for trade’s sake, so a new narrative and framework for global trade requires striking a careful balance between pursuing trade and non-trade policy objectives.

Protecting the environment, strengthening labour standards, and upholding human rights have long been goals for which trade policy is used as a lever, and the interaction of trade and national security interests as well as the links between trade and competition policy are not new issues either.…  Seguir leyendo »

A group of activists is setting on fire a circle that represents the Earth, while they are dressing like politicians, during the Global Climate Strike organized in Utrecht, on 24 September 2021. Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Tackling the intersection of trade and climate policies is central to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, but ensuring that growing trade tensions do not thwart progress urgently requires dialogue and international cooperation at the highest political level.

Trade issues are directly relevant to climate action in many ways. Achieving the Paris climate goals requires a significant change in the organization of global value chains and in the composition and geography of trade flows.

As no country’s economy operates in isolation, domestic efforts to decarbonize and implement climate policies to achieve net zero commitments also inevitably affect trade. In the absence of a global carbon pricing system, for instance, domestic carbon pricing policies raise competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns, prompting calls for border carbon adjustments.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boris Johnson at the launch of the UK-hosted COP26 UN Climate Summit at the Science Museum, London on February 4, 2020. Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The timing of many trade negotiations is now increasingly uncertain, as are the UK’s plans to host COP26 in November. Policy work continues, however, and the EU has released its draft negotiating text for the new UK-EU trade deal, which includes a sub-chapter specifically devoted to climate.

This is a timely reminder both of the pressing need for the UK to integrate its trade and climate policymaking and to use the current crisis-induced breathing space in international negotiations - however limited - to catch up on both strategy and priorities on this critical policy intersection.

The UK government has moved fast to reset its external trade relations post-Brexit.…  Seguir leyendo »