Greening the World Trade Organization
by Raymond Saner
Environmental and Climate Change Economics

The research programme on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development” addresses the two inter-related issues of climate change and sustainable development and a corollary of key topics in the field of environmental economics. The programme builds upon over twenty years of successful FEEM research in the field. In the specific area of climate change, FEEM has achieved a leading position in the international research community, as a result of the in-house development and application of several methodologies for the economic analysis of climate and energy policies. FEEM models address world-wide vulnerability to changes in climatic conditions, and investigate the economics of mitigation and adaptation to these changes. In the specific area of sustainable development, FEEM research covers a variety of issues: sustainable management of natural resources, the economics of natural hazards and extreme events, and the use of indicators to measure sustainability and growth beyond GDP. FEEM can also rely on a strong research team of applied economists who investigate the economic performance of various environmental and climate policy instruments. The twofold goal of this research programme is to contribute to science while guiding policies and informing the public debate.

Stakeholder engagement for sustainable development : replacing hierarchies of failures with hierarchies of solutions.

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Raymond Saner, 5th July 2013

Radical new approaches are urgently needed to reverse climate warming and to prevent the world from committing “ecocide” through environmental destruction. The radical new solutions proposed in this policy study go beyond the incremental change of current policy practice and instead suggest the need for a discontinuous change as the only means of halting the pervasive “tinkering along” approach of mainstream policy making which have not been able to bring about a halt to climate warming. This policy paper assesses the various attempts of state and non-state actors to cope with climate change and argues that a radically new approach is needed within the WTO agreements to generate solutions that have sufficient weight and treaty power to bring about a new and credible approach towards halting and reversing of climate warming.

Building on previous analysis and recommendations, this policy study discusses the interface between multilateral agreements on trade and on climate change and suggests that the WTO is the only multilateral institution which can effectively generate legal constraints and political will to stop climate warming. This policy study proposes an intra-regime solution within the WTO agreement in order to elicit the green investments and green production needed to successfully implement climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Environmental conflicts in Latin AmericaThis book titled « Environmental conflicts in Latin America” offers in –depth analysis of environmental conflicts from a multi-stakeholder perspective in Latin American countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Chile-Argentina and Columbia-Ecuador. The case examples offer analyses based on established negotiation theory and show actors such as governments, transnational companies, NGOs and civil society engage in negotiations covering water rights, gas and oil extraction, natural reservations (indigenous people rights versus enterprises’ construction projects). (The book is in German)

Negotiations at WTO and UNFCCC are both in limbo putting at risk international cooperation in key sectors of world development. International governance options are urgently needed to strengthen multilateral negotiations at the WTO and UNFCCC to avoid full deadlock and possible major trade and environmental conflicts. This policy brief written in June 2011 offers solutions which are not “WTO-UNFCCC speak” but rather based on “out of the box thinking”.