Climate Change, Trade, and Competitiveness: Is a Collision Inevitable?

Climate Change, Trade, and Competitiveness: Is a Collision Inevitable?: Brookings Trade Forum 2008/2009

Lael Brainard
Isaac Sorkin
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by:
Pages: 197
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt127zkp
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  • Book Info
    Climate Change, Trade, and Competitiveness: Is a Collision Inevitable?
    Book Description:

    Brookings Trade Forumprovides comprehensive analysis on current and emerging issues of international trade and macroeconomics. Practitioners and academics contribute to each volume, with papers that provide an in-depth look at a particular topic. The 2008/2009 edition focuses on climate policy and its impact on trade.

    Contents include • Five "Gs": Lessons for Governing Global Climate from World Trade William Antholis (Brookings) • International Trade Law and the Economics of Climate Policy: Evaluating the Legality and Effectiveness of Proposals to Address Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns Jason E. Bordoff (Brookings) • Technology Transfers and Climate Change: International Flows, Barriers, and Frameworks Thomas L. Brewer (Georgetown University) •Addressing the Leakage / Competitiveness Issue in Climate Change Policy Proposals Jeffrey A. Frankel (Harvard University) • The Economic and Environmental Effects of Border Tax Adjustments for Climate Policy Warwick J. Mckibbin and Peter J.Wilcoxen (Brookings) • The Climate Commons and a Global Environment Organization (GEO) C. Ford Runge (University of Minnesota)

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0397-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. v-vi)
    STROBE TALBOTT

    This volume is the latest demonstration of the commitment by Brookings to contribute in every possible and appropriate way to finding a solution to the existential problem of climate change. The debate on this subject has shifted from science to public policy. Though no consensus has emerged, it is clear that addressing climate change effectively will require understanding the deep interactions between it and other policy areas. Reaching an international agreement for meaningful global action will require diplomacy at the highest level. Sustaining lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions will require a new energy infrastructure. And reducing emissions could end...

  4. Editors’ Overview
    (pp. vii-x)
    LAEL BRAINARD and ISAAC SORKIN
  5. 1 The Economic and Environmental Effects of Border Tax Adjustments for Climate Policy
    (pp. 1-34)
    WARWICK J. MCKIBBIN and PETER J. WILCOXEN

    For the foreseeable future, climate change policy will be considerably more stringent in some countries than in others. Indeed, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change explicitly states that developed countries must take meaningful action before any obligations are to be placed on developing countries.

    However, differences in climate policy will lead to differences in energy costs, and to concerns about competitive advantage. In high-cost countries, there will be political pressure to impose border tax adjustments (BTAs), or “green tariffs,” on imports from countries with little or no climate policy and low energy costs. The BTAs would be based...

  6. 2 International Trade Law and the Economics of Climate Policy: Evaluating the Legality and Effectiveness of Proposals to Address Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns
    (pp. 35-68)
    JASON E. BORDOFF

    There is a growing consensus that a market mechanism that puts a price on carbon, such as a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, should be at the heart of the most flexible and cost-effective way to address climate change.¹ Ideally, such an approach would be adopted as part of a multilateral agreement. The reason is that carbon is a global pollutant, so a ton of carbon emitted in Beijing contributes to climate change just as much as a ton of carbon emitted in New York. This tragedy-of-the-commons nature of climate change raises concerns that any unilateral effort by the...

  7. 3 Addressing the Leakage/Competitiveness Issue in Climate Change Policy Proposals
    (pp. 69-92)
    JEFFREY A. FRANKEL

    Of all the daunting obstacles faced by the effort to combat global climate change, the problem of leakage is perhaps the most recent to gain serious attention from policy makers. Assume that a core of rich countries is able to agree for the remainder of the century on a path of targets for emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), following the lead of the Kyoto Protocol, or to agree on other measures to cut back on emissions, and that the path is aggressive enough at face value to go some way toward achieving the GHG concentration goals that environmental scientists say...

  8. 4 Technology Transfers and Climate Change: International Flows, Barriers, and Frameworks
    (pp. 93-120)
    THOMAS L. BREWER

    Discourse concerning international technology transfers to address climate change issues is typically based on a paradigm that is focused on North-South technology flows and financial flows, especially in the context of official development assistance programs or offset projects under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. This paradigm is useful for many analytic and negotiating agendas. However, it reflects an overly narrow conceptualization of the nature, sources, and methods of international technology transfers. It thus neglects important issues that need to be addressed in order to utilize more fully the potential of international technology transfers for climate change mitigation...

  9. 5 Five “Gs”: Lessons from World Trade for Governing Global Climate Change
    (pp. 121-138)
    WILLIAM ANTHOLIS

    Reversing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the world’s $60 trillion economy will be among the most complex international governance challenges ever—rivaling the forty-year effort to dramatically reduce tariffs and establish a rules-based trading system. Given that nearly fifteen years have passed since the completion of the last global trade pact, it is easy to forget that the World Trade Organization (WTO) stands tall among the great successes of global governance, precisely because it was so difficult to accomplish. A counterpart twin tower—a global system to address climate change—can mimic the trade regime’s most successful governance principles,...

  10. 6 The Climate Commons and a Global Environmental Organization
    (pp. 139-170)
    C. FORD RUNGE

    Over the period 2000 to 2008, the United States maintained a largely hostile posture toward multilateralism, ranging from military adventurism to rejection of international norms for human rights and climate change. Its support for the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations was undercut by a failure to live up to global commitments to foreign assistance (the Millennium Challenge) and protectionist and retrograde 2008 agricultural legislation. If this experience shows America anything, it is that renouncing its role as a constructive multilateral leader (dating to 1945) has been a disaster for its foreign policy and the esteem in which it is...

  11. 7 Reflections on Climate Change and Trade
    (pp. 171-176)
    JAGDISH BHAGWATI

    Let me start with a general comment that is relevant as background to the theme of this book, and then move on to some of the specifics of the interface between trade, the World Trade Organization, and the environment that many of the chapters above have addressed. At the outset, we need to remember that those who work on trade (mostly academics) and those who work on the environment (mostly activists) have traditionally been at loggerheads from time to time.

    Why? One important philosophical difference that underlies much of this tension, which I think we tend to forget, is that...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 177-184)
  13. Index
    (pp. 185-197)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 198-199)