Intersection between Trade and Environment

To describe areas of intersection between trade and environment.

This module will explore the physical and economic relationship between trade and environment. In particular, it will focus on trends associated with increased trade activity and its impacts on environment and development.  This analysis will show that there is a pressing need to balance trade and environmental goals in order to achieve sustainable development.

Rodrigo Martinez

Topics covered include:

§           International trade

o Rationales for trade promotion


§           Environmental conditions

            o Costs of environmental


            o Rationale for sound environmental



§           Physical and economic relationship between environment and international trade

o  Overview of the relationship and


o  Methodologies to assess impacts

o  Product effects

o  Scale effects

o  Structural effects

o  Direct effects


§           Tools for a balanced agenda

o  Aspects of trade promotion  that

    potentially contribute to

    environmental protection

o  Aspects of environmental

    management and protection that

    support the trade agenda







Required Readings

Recent Trade Developments and Selected Trends in Trade, World Trade Report 2006: Exploring the link between subsidies, trade, and the WTO, World Trade Organization (2006), Chapter I, pp.1-12.

Summary for Decision-Makers, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis, a part of the series: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005, World Resources Institute (2005), Chapter I, pp.1-24.

Physical and Economic Linkages, Environment and Trade— a Hand Book, 2nd ed., United Nations Environment Programme and International Institute for Sustainable Development (2005), Chapter 4, pp. 45-50.

The Effects of Trade Liberalization on the Environment, Trade and Environment at the WTO, The World Trade Organization (2004), pp. 22-34.

Hoffmann, Ulrich and Tom Rotherman. Environmental Requirements and Market Access for Developing Countries: Promoting Environmental – Not Trade – Protection, Trade and Environment Review 2006. United Nations Conference for Trade and Environment (2006), Chapter 1, pp. 1-12.

Esty, Daniel C.  Bridging the Trade-Environment Divide, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 3, Number 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 113-1301

Suggested Readings

Fact Sheet, Global Environmental Outlook – 3, United Nations Environment Programme (2003).


  Analyzing the Linkages between Economic Integration and Sustainable Development in the Americas.

Requisitos Ambientales, Competitividad Internacional y Acceso a Mercados en América Central, Cuba y la República Domínicana, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2007).

Schneider, Andreas and David Kernohan.  The Effects of Trade on Agriculture in Smaller Developing Countries, Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS Working Document No. 244 (June 2006).

Exploring Trade & the Environment: An Empirical Examination of Trade Openness and National Environmental Performance, Yale Center for Environmental Law (2012).





This page was last updated on Wednesday May 09, 2012.