Regional Trade Agreements can be good for the environment
Many countries have signed, or are negotiating, regional trade agreements and there are now more than 200 such agreements worldwide. Most of those negotiated by OECD countries incorporate environmental concerns but many others do not. This new OECD study will help policy makers ensure that regional trade liberalisation and environmental objectives go hand in hand.
The study analyses different ways in which countries have negotiated and applied environmental concerns in regional trade agreements. It notes that some countries demand an assessment of the impact that regional trade liberalisation will have on the environment and others specify the need for agreeing environmental standards and enforcing environmental laws. Some involve the public in the preparation of trade agreements in order to ensure that environmental issues are adequately addressed. Regional trade agreements, especially when one of the parties is a developing country, often combine trade commitments with environmental co-operation and capacity building.
Coinciding with the publication of this study, the OECD is organizing a workshop on Regional Trade Agreements and the Environment in Tokyo, Japan, on 19-20 June, to share experiences with participants mainly from Asia, a region where regional trade negotiations are currently booming. The OECD is planning to conduct further analysis and organize more policy dialogues to respond to countries’ demand for information in this rapidly-developing field.
List of Acronymns and RTA Memberships
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Environment in Regional Trade Agreements
Chapter 3. Negotiating Environment Commitments in Regional Trade Agreements: Some Key Questions
Chapter 4. Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Regional Trade Agreements
Chapter 5. Environmental Co-operation
Chapter 6. Environmental Standards and Enforcement of Environmental Laws
Chapter 7. Procedural Guarantees, Enforcement Mechanisms and Dispute Settlement
Chapter 8. Parties' Right to Adopt or Maintain Environmental Regulations
Chapter 9: Publication Participation and Consultation
Chapter 10: Conclusions and Overview of Key Experiences
Annex A: Selected RTAs
Annex B: Environmental Side Agreements and Cahpters on Environment in RTAs
Annex C: Overview of Environmental Impact Assessments of Selected RTAs
Annex D: Provisions on Environmental Co-operation in Selected RTAs