Environment Directorate

Environment and Regional Trade Agreements


Executive Summary | Table of contents | How to Obtain this Publication 
Multilingual Summaries | Related Material

ISBN: 9789264006652
Release: 15 June 2007

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.

Table of contents

List of Acronymns and RTA Memberships

Executive Summary

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

Multilingual Summaries

How to obtain this publication

Related Material

  • OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers