Climate and Trade – An Introduction to Issues of Conflict and Convergence

Until today, the trade and the climate debate are coexisting with very little overlap. Trade negotiators for the most part are not interested in climate issues; if at all, they are interested in how climate policies and measures might interfere with trade policy’s main objective to liberalize trade. Climate negotiators, in turn, have by and large avoided trade policy topics like the plague. However there are good reasons to consider the significance of liberal trade policies as well as the footprint of increasing world trade flows in their impact on human-made climate change. This introductory article, published in a reader of the Seattle to Brussels network, will sketch out four areas where trade and climate issues converge.