The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment: Is it making a Difference?

in Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law Online
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The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment: Is it making a Difference?

in Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law Online

References

1 GATT Doc. MTN/TNC/45(MIN). 2 Trade Negotiating Committee Decision of 15 December 1993.

3 Ibid. 4 See, e.g. GATT (ed.), Trade and Environment - News and View from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT Doc. TE 011 of 6 January 1995. 5 See Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade, Interim Report by the Chairman, 3 December 1992, annexed to GATT Doc. TE 001 of 1 April 1993. 6 Report (1996) of the Committee on Trade and Environment, WTO Doc. WT/CTE/W/1 of 12 November 1996.

7 This section draws on several descriptions of the CTE's work: K. Ewing/R. Tarasofsky (eds), The "Trade and Environment" Agenda: Survey of Major Issues and Proposals -From Marrakesh to Singapore, IUCN, 1997; R. Tara- sofsky/F Weiss, "Report on the World Trade Organization", Yearbook of International Environmental Law 8 (1997), 582 et seq. and the regular Trade and Environment Bulletins of the WTO (under the Press/TE series).

8 Para.173. 9 Para.174(ii). 10 W. Lang, "Trade and Environment: Progress in the World Trade Organiza- tion ?", Environmental Policy and Law 27 (1997), 275 et seq., (278).

11 Communication from Canada, Draft Decision on Eco-Lubelling Program- mes, WTO Doc. WT/CTE/W/38 and G/TBT/W/30 of 24 July 1996.

12 Document from Colombia,Environmental Labels and Market Access: Case Study on the Colombian Flower-Growing Industry, WTO Doc. WT/ CTE/W/76, G/TBT/W/60 of 9 March 1998.

13 Para.178. 14 Lang, see note 10, at 278.

ls See, e.g. Submission by New Zealand, Item 6: The Fisheries Sector, WTO Doc. WT/CTE/W/52 of 21 May 1997. 16 Proposal by Nigeria, Domestically Prohibited Goods, WTO Doc. WT/ CTE/W/32 of 30 May 1996.

1� Communication from the Secretariat of UNEP, Statement by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, WTO Doc. WT/CTE/W/94 of 22 July 1998. 18 Ibid. 19 Report on US Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, WTO Doc. WT/DS/58/ABR.1998. 20 Para.16, WTO Doc. WT/MIN(96)/DEC of 18 December 1996.

21 One concrete indication of this phenomenon is that a proposal made in 1998 for a high-level meeting to take place between trade and environment ministers has been downgraded to a "symposium", which will be held in 1999. 22 See Consensus Building Institute, "The Policy Dialogue on Trade and En- vironment 1994 - 1996", in: Background Papers, Summary Reports, Partici- pants List, February 1997, on file with the author. 23 Para 16. 24 Para.167.

2S Note from the European Community-, European Community Comments on the Note by the Secretariat of the WTO's Committee on Trade and En- vironment — Environmental Benefits of Removing Trade Restrictions and Distortions (WTO Doc.WT/CTE/W/67), WTO Doc. WT/CTE/W/83, pa- ra.6. 26 See, e.g. International Institute for Sustainable Development (ed.), The WTO and Sustainable Development - An Independent Assessment, 1996. 27 See, e.g. R. Tarasofsky, "Ensuring Compatibility Between Multilateral En- vironmental Agreements and GATT/WTO", Yearbook of International Environmental Law 7 ( 1996), 52.

z8 On the latter point, see Lang, see note 10, 278. 29 D. Runnalls, "Shall We Dance: What the North Needs to do to fully en- gage the South in the trade and sustainable development debate", IISD Working Paper, 1996. 30 For example, ASEAN has proposed that the CTE develops definitions of the terms plants, animals, micro-organisms and biological processes, plant varieties and effective sui generis systems, all of which are to be dealt with by the TRIPS Council in the 1999 review of article 27 para.3 lit.(b). 31 E.g. the environment components of the WTO Internet site is much more comprehensive than other subject areas on the site.

3z The need for such a dialogue is evident in the proposal by IUCN and IISD for a Standing Conference on Trade and Environment, which would be a forum to bring together representatives from international organisations and civil society. See IUCN and IISD, A Standing Conference on Trade and Environment, undated, on file with the author.

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