Note: This webpage is prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility and is intended only to provide a general explanation of the subject matter it addresses. It is in no way intended to provide legal guidance with respect to, or an authoritative legal interpretation of, the provisions of any WTO agreement. Moreover, nothing in this note affects, nor is intended to affect, WTO members' rights and obligations in any way.
Expansion of international trade
The past half century has been marked by an unprecedented expansion of international trade. Since 1950, world trade has grown more than twenty-seven fold in volume terms. By way of comparison, the level of world GDP rose eight-fold during the same period. As a consequence, the share of international trade in world GDP has risen from 5.5 per cent in 1950 to 20.5 per cent in 2006. More
How does trade affect greenhouse gas emissions?
Trade economists have developed a conceptual framework for examining how trade opening can affect the environment. This framework, first applied to study the environmental impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), separates the impact of trade liberalization into three independent effects: scale, composition and technique. This framework can be used therefore to study the link between trade opening and climate change. More
Trade and transport
One concern about trade's role in greenhouse gas emissions is its link
to transportation services. International trade involves countries
specializing in and exporting goods in which they have a comparative
advantage and importing other goods from their trade partners. This
process of international exchange requires that goods be transported
from the country of production to the country of consumption. So
international trade expansion is likely to lead to increased use of