Trade and the Environment

  • Matthew Christopher Kolasa (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


International trade regulation has generally favored open trade policies but GATT/WTO exceptions are designed to promote environmentally friendly industries and policies that would otherwise violate trade rules. This study examines how the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body has approached environmental exceptions in practice by analyzing key appellate body decisions over the history of the GATT/WTO system. Despite stated goals to promote sustainability, the way the Dispute Settlement Body has interpreted complaints has in some cases limited members' options for promotion of environmental policies. The paper in particular compares early environmental cases with the 'India Solar Cells' case, in which India argued a nascent solar industry in a developing country merited a protectionist exception. Empirical results of DSB decisions have shown an attempt to balance free trade with provisions meant to provide dispensations, with mixed results. The paper then puts WTO rulings in context with other multilateral treaties affecting the environment.
Period9 Nov 2019
Event titleInternational Studies Association Northeast Annual Conference 2019
Event typeConference
LocationProvidence, United States, Rhode IslandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Environment
  • Energy
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Environmental Treaties
  • Trade
  • India
  • United States
  • Political Economy
  • WTO
  • Development