256 pages, figure, index
Trade liberalisation, as promoted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has become one of the dominant drivers and most controversial aspects of globalization. Trade sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) were introduced as a means of generating better understanding of the social and environmental impacts of trade liberalisation and of making those impacts more consistent with sustainable development.
This book takes a hard look at the practice of Trade SIAs to date, and the extent to which they have achieved their objectives and improved the outcomes of trade negotiations. It proposes several ways in which Trade SIAs could be made more effective, and illustrates these in respect of controversial sectors such as textiles, services and investment. Finally the book makes proposals beyond SIA through which some of the conflicts between trade liberalization and sustainable development could be more effectively addressed.
Written by top researchers and experts on trade SIAs, the book also provides a particularly useful background for those considering how the environment and trade interrelate at regional level, with some particular insights on climate change and trade policies.
'Paul Ekins and colleagues throw much needed light on why trade won't work unless sustainability is built in. We must now work with urgency to get these findings built into the global negotiations.' Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development 'This book offers an expert and timely analysis of a key tool in EU trade policy - the sustainability impact assessment...[it] sheds much-needed light on the relationship between trade and development, demonstrates that it is far more complex than EU policy allows for, and makes innovative proposals for change.' Dr. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South East England, The European Parliament 'This book makes a significant contribution to the field of impact assessment by critically examining the application of trade sustainability impact assessments over the last decade and suggesting ways that such assessments could be more effective in shaping negotiations.' Hussein Abaza, Chief, Economics and Trade Branch, United Nations Environment Programme 'An in depth look at trade and the need for sustainability to figure high up on the agenda.' The Environmentalist
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