TTIP and Climate Change – How real are Race to the Bottom Concerns?

de Sépibus, Joëlle; Holzer, Kateryna; Polanco, Rodrigo Javier (May 2015). TTIP and Climate Change – How real are Race to the Bottom Concerns? (NCCR Trade Working Papers 2015/12). Bern, Switzerland: NCCR Trade Regulation

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This paper examines concerns about the impact that TTIP could have on existing and future climate policies and laws from the inclusion of provisions on investment protection including investor-to-State dispute settlement (ISDS), the reduction of non-tariff barriers and the introduction of rules for trade in energy and raw materials. It argues that from an environmental perspective, ISDS should not necessarily be seen as a regime that goes against the defence of the environment or prevention of climate change. Although it might be used to challenge policies of an EU home State that increase levels of environmental protection, it can also be used to contest changes in an EU home State’s environmental policies that would reduce the protection of the environment, if foreign investment is affected. To a large extent, this also holds true for other areas of TTIP negotiations. While the achievement of a balance between rules that promote trade and those that maintain policy space for governments to respond to environmental concerns has to be closely monitored, benefits for climate could be seized from harmonisation of carbon laws at the level of the strictest regulations of two parties, provisions that promote trade in low carbon technologies and renewable energy and bilateral cooperation on climate change.

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 > Institute of European and International Economic Law
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

de Sépibus, Joëlle; Holzer, Kateryna and Polanco, Rodrigo Javier


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law


NCCR Trade Working Papers


NCCR Trade Regulation


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

24 Jun 2016 14:58

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 19:32

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