WTO law issues of emissions trading

Holzer, Kateryna (April 2016). WTO law issues of emissions trading (NCCR Trade Working Papers 2016/1). Bern: NCCR Trade Regulation

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Based on existing research in the interface of emissions trading schemes (ETSs) and WTO law, the paper looks more closely at the design elements of an ETS that are most vulnerable to a WTO challenge, including border adjustment on importation and exportation, recycling of revenues and cross-border linking. The analysis of WTO consistency of various ETS regulatory components reveals significant legal uncertainty. One explanation is that an ETS is not yet fully established as a regulatory tool. It does not have a fixed design and its design elements vary significantly with a scheme. Moreover, ETS-related issues have never been raised in WTO disputes. This makes it hard to predict with confidence the outcome of scrutiny of an ETS by a WTO adjudicative body. In this respect, the availability of environmental and/or health exceptions for justification of ETS-related measures is of great importance.

Item Type:

Working Paper


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > Institute of European and International Economic Law
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:

Holzer, Kateryna


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law


NCCR Trade Working Papers


NCCR Trade Regulation




Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

05 Jul 2016 14:50

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2020 08:51

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