South Centre Paper, October 2009

Carbon-Based Competitiveness, Trade and Climate Change: Perspectives of Developing Countries.

This paper analyses a number of issues raised by the increasing links between the global trade and climate agendas such as tariff liberalisation on green technologies, the use of low carbon standards, intellectual property rights and border adjustment measures. The paper examines these issues from the perspectives of developing countries focusing on the political and economic considerations that underlie them.

From the perspective of developing countries, trade measures are not necessarily the best nor the most appropriate means for addressing climate change concerns. Rather, there is great concern that the use of trade measures by developed countries ostensibly to address climate change concerns may in fact have the effect of restricting the market access of developing country products in developed countries and enhancing the competitive edge that developed countries have in global trade, thereby “locking in” the current inequitable development gap between developed and developing countries.

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