TRI-CC Conference - 2011

Searching for progress on key issues

IISD’s Trade, Investment and Climate Change Project (TRI–CC) convened a one-day conference in Geneva on October 13, 2011 at World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters. In three sessions, a roster of internationally respected speakers addressed:


Video of the entire proceedings, speakers’ presentations and background materials are available now. Follow links below.

Opening Remarks

Aaron Cosbey, Associate and Senior Climate Change and Trade Advisor, IISD: Roots of both trade and climate impasses, need for international cooperation on trade and climate issues.

Session 1: Green Industrial Policy

Does climate change bring anything new to the old arguments over industrial policy? Are there implications for trade and investment law? (Chair: Aaron Cosbey, IISD)

Richard Newfarmer, Country Director, Rwanda, World Bank International Growth Centre: What is “smart” industrial policy? Can it be done successfully? Can it be replicated?

Luca Rubini, Deputy Director, Institute of European Law Birmingham Law School: What does trade law say on subsidies for renewable energy technologies? What should it say?

Vice Yu, Coordinator, Global Governance for Development Programme, South Centre: What role for intellectual property rights (IPRs) in addressing climate change and the need for sustainable development?

Daniel Peat, Sciences Po, France: What institutions might complement the WTO in addressing green industrial policy?

Discussion from the floor

Session 2: New Thinking on Competitiveness and Leakage

Unilateral action on climate change will probably mean the need to protect some sectors. Can this be done in a way that is effective and respects the principles of trade law? (Chair: Ingrid Jegou, International Centre on Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD))

John Barrett, Chair of Sustainability Research, Leeds University: Accounting for carbon at the point of consumption: What does the evidence show us?

Peter Wooders, Senior Economist, IISD: Sectoral approaches: What can the steel sector tell us?

Lutz Weischer, Research Analyst, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute: Border carbon adjustment: An international agreement on best practice?

Chuck Verill, Partner, Wiley Rein and Professor at Duke School of Law: GHG intensity standards: Legal? Effective?

Discussion from the floor

Session 3: A Role for the Trade Community?

We need institutional space to discuss the legality and propriety of unilateral trade-related climate action. Under what circumstances could the WTO play a positive role? What other institutions/venues/approaches might be useful? (Chair: Patrick Low, WTO)

Ambassador Kwok Fook Seng, Permanent Representative to the WTO, Singapore

Joost Pauwelyn, Professor of International Economic Law, The Graduate Institute

Raymond Saner, Director, CSEND

Vesile Kulaçoğlu, Director, Trade and Environment Division, WTO

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Executive Director, ICTSD

Mark Halle, Director - Trade and Investment, and European Representative, IISD

Discussion from the floor

This meeting was made possible by the generous support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ENTWINED Research Network of the Swedish MISTRA Foundation and the Mission of Canada to the WTO in Geneva. For more details please contact Aaron Cosbey.