Transatlantic Perspective on Climate Change and Trade Policy


March 4, 2009, 3:00 AM EST
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC
Trevor Houser (PIIE), Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE), Jeffrey J. Schott (PIIE), Jacob Werksman (World Resources Institute), Nicholas H. Stern (London School of Economics), Malachy Hargadon (Editor and Clear Writing Campaign coordinator in the European Commission), Mun Ho (Development Economics Expert), Bernice Lee (Head of Climate Change and Resource Security Initiatives, World Economic Forum Geneva) and Thomas Legge (European Climate Foundation)

Event Summary

The Peterson Institute for International Economics and the World Resources Institute (WRI) cohosted a workshop to examine the trans atlantic perspective on climate change and trade policy on March 4, 2009. Lord Nicholas Stern, whose Stern Report on climate change has played a major role in international debate, delivered the keynote address. Leading US and European experts also spoke at the event on the impact of efforts to reduce emissions on trade-exposed industries, policy options for addressing competitiveness concerns, and how to reconcile these efforts with the international trading system and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event was part of the broader March 3 symposium US Climate Action: A Global Economic Perspective, cohosted by the Institute with the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Grantham Research Institute.

As the world looks to broker an agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009, trade has emerged as a central theme in both international negotiations and domestic policy debates. Countries are moving at various speeds in multiple ways to reduce emissions, and different targets mean different carbon prices. Countries that take more aggressive action to reduce emissions therefore risk putting their industries with a high exposure to carbon costs at a competitive disadvantage. How the European Union and United States address these issues will have major implications for both international climate negotiations and the global trading system.

Event Materials

Book: Global Warming and the World Trading System
by Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Steve Charnovitz, and Jisun Kim
March 2009

Book: Leveling the Carbon Playing Field: International Competition and US Climate Policy Design
by Trevor Houser, Rob Bradley, Britt Childs, Jacob Werksman, and Robert Heilmayr
May 2008

Policy Brief 09-3: A Green Recovery? Assessing US Economic Stimulus and the Prospects for International Coordination
by Trevor Houser, Shashank Mohan, and Robert Heilmayr
February 2009

Presentation: Reconciling Climate Policy with the International Trading System [pdf]
Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Presentation: EU Climate Policy and Economic Competitiveness [pdf]
Thomas Legge

Presentation: US CO2 Regulation and Competitiveness [pdf]
Mun S. Ho

Paper: Comments on the Stern Report
William R. Cline
January 5, 2008

Book: Global Warming and Agriculture: Impact Estimates by Country
William R. Cline
July 2007

Event Summary [pdf]

Opening Remarks C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Session One The Impact of Climate Policy on Trade-Exposed Industries and Domestic Policy Options
  Mun Ho, Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future
  Trevor Houser, Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  Thomas Legge, Program Office, German Marshal Fund
  Bernice Lee, Research Director, Energy, Environment and Resource Governance, Chatham House
Session Two Reconciling Climate Policy with the International Trading System
  Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  Jeffrey J. Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  Malachy Hargadon, Environmental Counselor, Delegation of the European Commission
  Jacob Werksman, Director, Institutions and Governance Program, World Resources Institute
Keynote Address Lord Nicholas Stern, Patel Chair and Director, London School of Economics Asia Research Center