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Trade, Climate Change, World Trade Organization, Kyoto Protocol


This article explores the role of trade in motivating action on climate change, using the specific example of developments within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Kyoto Protocol, the first international agreement with legally binding commitments to begin to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is expected to come into force in 2004. With it, most of the developed world will be committed to modest reduction targets over the next decade. The two largest per capita emitters, the USA and Australia, have so far opted not to join this modest effort to address climate change, and developing countries, while party to the Kyoto process, are so far only engaged in voluntary action to reduce emissions.


This is a pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Meinhard Doelle, "Climate Change and the WTO: Opportunities to Motivate State Action on Climate Change through the World Trade Organization" (2004) 13:1 RECIEL 85, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Wiley Terms & Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.