Climate change is one of the most important international issues facing the world today. One controversial element of the climate change debate is the relationship between trade agreements and measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. This course explores key legal and economic issues arising from the climate change debate, including the relationship between the WTO Agreement and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) that address climate change. The course examines the legality under international trade rules of domestic and international trade measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as measures designed to influence the behaviour of trading partners. Issues addressed include: 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 will be 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.
In order to provide interested stakeholders from government, business, civil society and academia with a critical analysis o key issues of the ongoing climate change debate, the World Trade Institute (WTI) at the University of Bern (Switzerland) and the United Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are offering this e-Learning course to a global audience.
At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:
- Identify the key legal and economic issues arising from the climate change debate;
- Discuss the legality under international trade rules of domestic and international trade measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and of measures designed to influence the behavior of trading partners; and
- Analyze the economic implications for developing countries of WTO rules and MEAs affecting climate change.
Week 1: MODULE I
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADE AND CLIMATE CHANGE AND INTRODUCTION TO FUNDAMENTAL TRADE LAW ISSUES
- Lesson 1: Political Perspectives on Climate Change: Developed Countries, Developing Countries, Islands and Vulnerable Coastal States
- Lesson 2: Economic Aspects of the Link between Trade and Climate Change
- Lesson 3: Introduction to General WTO Principles (GATT Rules) Related to Climate Change: a)GATT principles and general exceptions (GATT Articles I, II, III, XI and XX)b)Domestically applied measures to promote a climate-friendly domestic environment (Technical regulations and standards) GATT Article III:4 and the TBT Agreement
Week 2: MODULE II
ADVANCED WTO ISSUES ARISING FROM NATIONAL TRADE MEASURES ADDRESSING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (GHG)
- Lesson 4: Carbon Taxes, Border Tax Adjustments and Emissions Trading
- Lesson 5: Subsidies to Promote Renewable Energy Use versus Countervailing Duties and Anti-Dumping Duties
Week 3: MODULE III
ADVANCED WTO ISSUES CONTINUED; AND THE ROAD AHEAD – TRADE AND CLIMATE WITHIN THE WTO
- Lesson 6: TRIPs (Technology Transfer and Climate Change)
- Lesson 7: The Negotiations: The CTE and CTESS; Environmental Goods and Services Negotiations and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the WTO
- Lesson 8: Wrap-Up: The Road Ahead Viewed from the Perspective of Different Actors
Week 4: WRAP UP
- Course wrap up and conclusion
- Course evaluation questionnaire
In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling , the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).
This course is designed specifically for senior and middle level officials and professionals wishing to deepen their knowledge and understanding of international trade and climate change issues.
A certificate of completion will be issued jointly by UNITAR and WTI to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.