ENVIRONMENT: MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS

WTO Matrix on Trade-Related Measures Pursuant to Selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are an important means for countries to tackle environmental problems, particularly those international or global in scope. There are, currently in force, over 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) dealing with various environmental issues. About 20 of these MEAs include provisions to control trade in order to prevent damage to the environment:

The Matrix provides the following background information on selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs):

  • Brief description of the MEA;
  • Trade-related measures of the MEA, notably requirements or restrictions on imported or exported products;
  • Supportive measures, such as technology transfer, and financial or technical assistance under the provisions of the MEA;
  • Non-compliance mechanism set out in the MEA;
  • Dispute settlement mechanisms in the MEA;
  • Provisions relating to non-parties to the MEA.

The latest version of the Matrix is available for download here.

This includes an Annex which provides a comparative table of WTO and MEA membership.

CTE Work Programme

The Marrakech Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment sets out the Work Programme of the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). Items 1 and 5 cover the relationship between the rules of the multilateral trading system and the trade measures contained in MEAs, and between their dispute settlement mechanisms.

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Disclaimer

The Matrix of MEA trade measures has been prepared under the WTO Secretariat's own responsibility and is without prejudice to the positions of Members or to their rights and obligations under the WTO.

Doha Mandate on MEAs

At the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference, Members agreed to negotiate on the relationship between WTO rules and specific trade obligations in MEAs; and on the collaboration between WTO and MEA secretariats. These negotiations take place in special sessions of the Trade and Environment Committee.

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