Tackling Climate Change Through the Elimination of Trade Barriers for Low-Carbon Goods: Multilateral, Plurilateral and Regional Approaches

  • Christopher FreyEmail author


While the trade and environment debate has long focused on the adverse impact of environmental measures on free trade and vice versa and on securing policy space to regulate in the environmental interest, the focus has only recently started to shift to the potentially reinforcing relationship between trade and sustainable development. The present contribution explores this notion by discussing the liberalization of trade in low-carbon goods as a contribution to the fight against climate change. It provides an overview over the existing trade barriers and the efforts to eliminate these barriers for renewable energy goods and energy efficient technologies. The contribution furthermore identifies the liberalization potentials and main challenges in the multilateral, plurilateral and regional contexts. Perhaps surprisingly, mega-regional trade agreements are identified as the most promising venue to pursue ambitious liberalization efforts for low-carbon goods, if trade negotiators were willing to make this a central part of the agreements.


Environmental goods Renewable Energy Non-tariff barriers Trade facilitation Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany
  2. 2.University of Canterbury School of LawChristchurchNew Zealand

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