The Principle of Common Concern and Climate Change

Cottier, Thomas; Aerni, Philipp; Karapinar, Baris; Matteotti, Sofya; de Sépibus, Joëlle; Shingal, Anirudh (June 2014). The Principle of Common Concern and Climate Change (NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper 2014/18). Bern: NCCR Trade Regulation

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Effective policies combating global warming and incentivising reduction of greenhouse gases face fundamental collective action problems. States defending short term interests avoid international commitments and seek to benefit from measures combating global warming taken elsewhere. The paper explores the potential of Common Concern as an emerging principle of international law, in particular international environmental law, in addressing collective action problems and the global commons. It expounds the contours of the principle, its relationship to common heritage of mankind, to shared and differentiated responsibility and to public goods. It explores its potential to provide the foundations not only for international cooperation, but also to justify, and delimitate at the same time, unilateral action at home and deploying extraterritorial effects in addressing the challenges of global warming and climate change mitigation. As unilateral measures mainly translate into measures of trade policy, the principle of Common Concern is inherently linked and limited by existing legal disciplines in particular of the law of the World Trade Organization.

Item Type:

Working Paper


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Cottier, Thomas, Aerni, Philipp, Karapinar, Baris, Matteotti, Sofya, de Sépibus, Joëlle, Shingal, Anirudh


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law


NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper


NCCR Trade Regulation


[UNSPECIFIED] Swiss National Science Foundation




Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2016 13:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56

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