Conflicts and Compatibility between International Trade and Climate Change Obligations and the Position of the BRICS

By Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

International legal efforts to mitigate global climate change continue to face impediments in achieving effective reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. A closer introspection of the international climate change regime reveals major short comings, which in turn creates the need to explore the viability of engaging alternative approaches and legal regimes to fill the lacuna. In this context, the relevance of international trade norms for addressing global climate change becomes crucial but faces potential conflicts. Although, the reconciliation of related conflicts is expected to benefit both regimes, the paper argues that the stakes for climate change regime are much higher and therefore require a conscious development of conciliatory efforts with international trade norms. However, given the stalemate in international climate change negotiations, the prospect of such conciliatory initiatives arising from within the climate change regime seems bleak. This ironically creates the necessity to promote such efforts from outside the climate change negotiations. The paper seeks to identify and analyze the conflict and compatibility between international trade and climate regimes. It investigates how far the international trade regime could hinder or facilitate the measures seeking to enforce global climate change goals. It examines how differentiated climate change regime responsibilities and efforts could give rise to diverse national measures causing potential conflicts with international trade norms. The position of BRICS cooperation and some of its individual member states with regard to climate change is examined next. It concludes with a discussion on the relevant findings and suggestions regarding how international climate and trade regimes could be fostered to fight climate change more pragmatically. The potential role of BRICS and its member states in enhancing global climate change cooperation is discussed towards the end.

Keywords: Trade and Climate Change, Conflict of Norms, Conciliation of Conflict, Complementarities of Regimes, BRICS and Climate Change, BRICS and International Cooperation

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 409.119KB).

Dr. Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy

Associate Professor and Area Co-ordinator of Master Studies in Internatiional Law, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, Macau, Macau, China

Ph.D., M.Phil. (International Law), MSc. (International Business Management), LL.M. (Labour and Maritime Law), LL.B. (Common Law) and Postgraduate Diploma in International Trade Law.

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