Does our Alarming Climate Crisis Demand Border Adjustments Now?

Organised by
The Graduate Institute Geneva
26 June 2018
|
Geneva, Switzerland

While the universally endorsed and widely ratified Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC aims to limit temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, recent estimates indicate that countries' current added mitigation pledges only cover a third of the emissions reductions needed to achieve this goal.

To allow countries to scale up climate action at home without risking to see their efforts undermined by carbon leakage, some experts and policymakers are suggesting the introduction of border carbon adjustment measures.

While such measures have so far not been put to practice, the current climate urgency combined with the fact that the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter is now choosing to step aside has led John Odell, Professor Emeritus of International Relations with the University of Southern California, to revisit the border carbon adjustment topic.

At this talk, he will explain what a border carbon adjustment could look like if it is to be effective; compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization; and sensitive to development considerations. These ideas are further elaborated in his recent think piece for ICTSD.

John S. Odell is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He researches the governance of the world economy--why governments and international organizations do what they do in international economic relations, and how they could do better--and climate change. Former: Visiting Fellow, Office of the US Trade Representative, Peterson Institute in Washington, and Graduate Institute in Geneva; Editor, International Organization; Director, USC School of International Relations and its Center for international Studies; Faculty member, Harvard University. He has published extensively about negotiations among states on trade, exchange rates and debt, including in the WTO and the IMF. He received a PhD in Political Science and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joost Pauwelyn is Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and Co-Director of the Institute’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration.  He is also the Murase Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Center in Washington DC and leads the www.tradelab.org network of legal clinics on international economic law.

Before joining the Graduate Institute, Joost was a tenured professor at Duke Law School.  He served as legal officer at the WTO from 1996 to 2002 and practiced law at a major Brussels law firm. 

Joost advises governments and non-state actors in dispute settlement under the WTO and FTAs and investor-state arbitration.  From 2007 to 2014 he was Senior Advisor with the law firm of King & Spalding LLP. 

Joost received degrees from the Universities of Namur and Leuven, Belgium as well as Oxford University and holds a doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel. He was appointed on the roster of WTO panelists and as arbitrator under Free Trade Agreements and the Energy Charter Treaty. He is a Member of the ICSID Panel of Conciliators. Joost is the author of one of the leading case books on International Trade Law (Aspen, 2016, 3nd ed., with A. Guzman & J. Hillman). In 2015, he was appointed as Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of International Economic Law.

Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ is co-founder of ICTSD and has been its Chief Executive since 1996. Previously, he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). He has represented Colombia as a negotiator in several multilateral fora, including as permanent delegate of Colombia in Geneva and as a negotiator in GATT’s Uruguay Round, the Rio’92 UN Conference process, UNCTAD VIII, the Climate Change Convention, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Montreal Protocol. He acted as spokesperson for the G77 in several fora and served as chair of the UN Standing Committees on Commodities and on Trade Preferences. Earlier, he had served as Principal Adviser to the Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia. Since 1997, Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz has been the publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications, and has edited, authored and published a wide range of books, articles and opinion pieces in English, French and Spanish on economic governance, trade, sustainable development and conflict management. He has served or currently sits on advisory committees and the boards of a number of global policy initiatives, including as Member of the Board of Intellectual Property Watch (Geneva); the Operating Board of AccountAbility (London); the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade and WEF’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change; The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy (U of Boston); The Center for Global Development’s Global Trade Preference Working Group (Washington, DC); The Evian’s Group Brains Trust (IMD); the Global Governance Network of Globus et Locus (Milano); the Steering Committees of DfID’s Global Trade and Finance Architecture Initiative and of UN DESA’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (New York), a Patron of the Earth Focus Foundation (Geneva); in the recent past he served as Chair of the Global Action Network’s Council (Cambridge, MA); and member of the U.N. Secretary General Millennium Project Task Force on Trade; the WTO’s Director General NGO Advisory Group; and the MOFCOM/IISD China Sustainable Development and Global Markets Task Force. Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz, a graduate of Harvard University, has recently co-authored Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) with A. Najam and M. Halle, and co-edited Rebuilding Global Trade: Proposals for A Fairer, More Sustainable Future(Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford U. and ICTSD, 2009) with C. Deere; Agricultural Subsidies In The WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence With Sustainable Development Goals (Cambridge University Press, 2009) with C. Bellmann and J. Hepburn; Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development, Agendas in a Changing World(Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) with P. Roffe; and, WTO Dispute Settlement: The Developing CountryExperience (Cambridge U. Press, forthcoming November 2010) with G. Shaffer. He holds Colombian and Belgian nationalities and is a resident of Switzerland where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Auditorium A2

Maison de la Paix

Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2

1202 Genève

To attend the event, please register via the Graduate Institute at this link