July 2011, Geneva, Switzerland. UNITAR’s Public Finance and Trade Programme and the World Trade Institute (University of Bern, Switzerland) successfully concluded the second session of their e-Learning course on Trade and Climate Change. Twenty-two (22) officials and professionals from the public and private sector successfully completed this instructor-led four-week online course. The main course goal was to improve the participant’s knowledge of key legal and economic issues arising from the ongoing climate change debate.

The course on “Trade and Climate Change”, which was mentored by senior international lawyer Dr. Arthur Appleton, Founding Partner of Appleton Luff – International Lawyers (Brussels, Geneva, Singapore, Warsaw and Washington, D.C), had 26 participants from over 20 different countries. It combined self-study, mentored online discussions, and self-assessments with the aim of providing participants high quality training, knowledge sharing and networking in a flexible and cost-effective way.

The diversity of participants rendered very lively and insightful discussions about topics such as the legality under international trade rules of domestic and international trade measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the economic implications for developing countries of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) affecting climate change.

On the whole, participants provided very positive feedback on the course, below is a comment from a course participant:

“It has been a truly great experience for me. I have learned a lot in the four short weeks that has passed. The readings were all very informative and the discussions were enlightening. Trade and Climate Change is a very important topic and my participation in this course gave me new tools with which to more effectively perform my work as a policy advocate.”

Ms. Mary Ann Curameng, Attorney, Energy Development Corporation, Philippines

This course explored key legal and economic issues arising from the climate change debate, including the relationship between the WTO Agreement and MEAs) that address climate change. The course examined high-priority issues such as subsidies and countervailing duties, border tax adjustments, the use of technical regulations and standards to address climate change, how the WTO Agreement treats process and production methods (PPMs) that emit greenhouse gas emissions, and the WTO negotiations on environmental goods and services. Particular attention was devoted to developing country concerns, including the economic implications for developing countries of WTO rules and MEAs affecting climate change, as well as intellectual property protection issues and technology transfer, including their role in mitigation and adaptation strategies.

For more information about the World Trade Institute (WTI, University of  Bern)
please visit: http://www.wti.org.

For more information about UNITAR e-Learning courses in the areas of public finance and trade, please visit: http://www.unitar.org/pft/event.