The world needs international cooperation to do more than the framework of the voluntary national climate plans put in place in Paris to “flower a thousand flowers”. The report aims to improve understanding of the links between trade and climate change. This shows that trade intersects in many ways with climate change. For example, governments can introduce a large number of measures, such as regulatory measures and economic incentives to address climate change. This complex set of actions can have an impact on international trade and the multilateral trading system. The report begins with a synthesis of the current state of scientific knowledge on climate change and ways to address the challenge of climate change. The scientific review is followed by some of the economic aspects of the link between trade and climate change, and these two components form the context of the subsequent parts of the report on policies put in place, both at the international and national level, to combat climate change. The Part of International Policy Responses to Climate Change describes multilateral efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, and also examines the role of ongoing trade and environmental negotiations in promoting trade in technologies to mitigate climate change. The final part of the report provides an overview of a series of national policies and measures implemented in a number of countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.
It presents the main features of the design and implementation of these policies, in order to provide a clearer picture of their overall impact and potential effects on environmental protection, sustainable development and trade. If so, it also provides an overview of WTO rules that may be relevant to such measures. Second, the WTO should consider more options to incorporate climate change measures into WTO law. More trade agreements should take advantage of the “eligible legal imagination” and create new spaces to mitigate climate change, which comply with WTO rules. Panezi proposes three options: the most effective way to increase the price gap between low-carbon alternatives and low-carbon alternatives would be to introduce a broad carbon tax or to set up a national emissions trading scheme. But this policy has spread slowly, and while they have been adopted, often at considerable political cost, they have yielded meagre results (Bloomberg 2016). Although in theory “a carbon price” may seem strange, it is far from proven in the real world. Extending the geometry of global climate change would accelerate the implementation of the UN Paris Agreement by accelerating the underlying economic changes that condition the implementation of the political commitments made by nation states within their NDCs.