ENTWINED's research was built around two interrelated areas each of which explored the intersection of trade and environment. “The treatment of environmental policies in the WTO" and “Trade and private or unilateral environmental policies".
The first area for future research concerned the way in which the WTO Agreement handles environmental policies.
Subprojects in the second category focused on the interplay between trade and nationally (or subglobally) pursued environmental policies, and of private environmental standards. Here, the team sought to understand when such environmental policies are most effectively applied and how they can be improved, given a context of international trade.
The following offer a “compass" for the research questions ENTWINED examined across the interrelated subprojects over the course of 2013, and beyond.
The treatment of environmental policies in the WTO
- How can accountability mechanisms be extended at the WTO to environmental and sustainability concerns within existing mandates? This work will include crosswalks to the work on voluntary standards described below.
- Can lessons be drawn from WTO experience for enhanced transparency and accountability in MEAs, and vice versa?
- Why do parties in environmental disputes typically prefer to let their disputes be resolved through negotiations in the TBT Committee rather than before a WTO Panel?
Border Carbon Adjustments
- What are the principles of good practice that can help policymakers design border carbon adjustment measures?
- How do climate policies, including border adjustments, in industrialized countries affect trade partners?
- How do border adjustments, output-based rebates, and alternative policies compare for reducing emissions leakage as the coalition of countries regulating greenhouse gas emissions grows larger?
Trade and Green Industrial Policy
- What lessons from industrial policy can be applied to “green industrial policy"? More specifically, what lessons can be applied to the support of renewable energy sectors?
- What strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can identified by comparing and contrasting green industrial initiatives that are currently underway in Spain, Germany and China?
- Is there a need to discuss waivers or exceptions to, or agreed interpretations of, trade law, and amendments to investment law, to leverage constructive green industrial policy and limit the deployment of destructive green industrial policy?
- To what extent does lobbying by special interest groups have an impact on the level of biofuel usage?
Trade and the Impact of Voluntary Environmental Standards
- What are the social, economic and environmental impacts of sustainability standards operating in the global market, and how are these impacts distributed geographically and across global supply chains?