An Uneasy Relationship: Combating a Global Threat Through International Trade

Freedom-Kai Phillips

Abstract


Climate change has traversed from the realm of environmental speculation to political policy. No longer is it an issue of lacking scientific evidence; rather it is now an issue of lacking political will. Courageously, the European Union, after gauging the international landscape for a multilateral accord and finding it wanting, has forged forward unilaterally to combat this pressing and substantial threat. In enacting the 20/20 by 2020 the EU has not only set a profound precedent for other developed nations, but has also placed a great burden on its domestic industries. This article examines the EU’s regulatory response, in light of its WTO obligations. On the whole, it argues that the EU is well within its sovereign right to apply this measure domestically. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the EU also has strong legal arguments to justify influencing other developed nations to abide by a similar regime through an interpretation of past WTO jurisprudence. Finally, it makes recommendations to empower nations to be more effective at combating threats of this magnitude. On the whole, nations must be supported in progressive environmental actions, rather than hindered.


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