20 Nov 2015

‘Timely’ lecture examines trade and investment rules' impact on climate action

Just a few weeks before the Climate Summit (COP21, Paris) and the Tenth WTO Ministerial Meeting in Nairobi, a guest lecture by WTI Senior Researcher Christian Häberli at Warwick University (UK) was welcomed by participants as most timely and to the point.

The topic 'Climate Change Adaptation with Better Agricultural Trade and Investment Rules' highlighted the special situation of poor farmers and consumers facing global warming in a context of international rules and policy fragmentation preventing climate action.

The hypothesis presented was that the international framework consisting of climate mitigation programmes with subsidies and footprint differentiation, and with the present trade and investment rules, prevents coherent action at the national level and in conformity with, for instance, WTO non-discrimination obligations.

Moreover, the draft texts submitted for the Paris and Nairobi events fail to take account of the specific development dimension of many net food importing developing countries. In short, more research and more policy and rules changes are required in view of the foreseeable structural developments related to climate change, particularly for poor agricultural producers.