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“I guess everyone is a Keynesian in a foxhole” The story of the war against climate change and how regulated capitalism can make the WTO a force of good

Markkula, Tina LU (2019) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20191
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues researched in Sustainability Science. Even though risks and consequences have been shown, actions to reduce emissions have been unsuccessful. UNFCCC is the global center for climate change policy and the host of the greatest concerted will to fight climate change, the Paris Agreement. Even with the hopeful aim and goals of the agreement, global emissions are nonetheless not decreasing as fast as they need to. I argue that this is due to global trade policies, primarily established by the WTO, that are clashing with aims of the Paris Agreement. As it is, the WTO can be a hinderance of the agreement’s implementation. Still, I claim it can be a key agent for its progression. However, there... (More)
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues researched in Sustainability Science. Even though risks and consequences have been shown, actions to reduce emissions have been unsuccessful. UNFCCC is the global center for climate change policy and the host of the greatest concerted will to fight climate change, the Paris Agreement. Even with the hopeful aim and goals of the agreement, global emissions are nonetheless not decreasing as fast as they need to. I argue that this is due to global trade policies, primarily established by the WTO, that are clashing with aims of the Paris Agreement. As it is, the WTO can be a hinderance of the agreement’s implementation. Still, I claim it can be a key agent for its progression. However, there needs to be a Keynesian restructuring of the WTO, from neoliberal ideology to capitalist regulation. To test my claim, I use a combination of literature review with document analysis to analyze the clashes and potential synergies within the WTO and Paris Agreement’s framework. I conclude that the resulting clashes relate to the WTO’s trade policy and neoliberal ideology, where free trade and global economic growth trumps environmental concern. This is done in four ways. Firstly, the single focus on the EGA. Secondly, by allowing subsidization for fossil fuels while penalizing the same for renewable energy. Thirdly, the TRIPS agreement’s hinderance of climate technology transfer. Lastly, the narrow window for national climate policy, GATT XX. Yet, I also illustrate that the WTO can aid in the success of the Paris Agreement, by applying a Keynesian perspective. This could allow sufficient nation sovereignty for climate policy while creating an environment where members of the agreement are cooperating for climate instead of competing for economic growth. My thesis highlights the importance of Sustainability Science’s participation in the debate on the trade- and climate policy relationship. There is a need to critically analyze the clashes and search for robust solutions that will reduce emissions on a global scale, within the institutional architecture of the WTO and the UNFCCC. (Less)
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author
Markkula, Tina LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
WTO, Paris Agreement, Keynes, Climate Change, Sustainability Science, Trade Policy
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2019:028
language
English
id
8982489
date added to LUP
2019-06-13 11:54:51
date last changed
2019-06-13 11:54:51
@misc{8982489,
  abstract     = {Climate change is one of the most pressing issues researched in Sustainability Science. Even though risks and consequences have been shown, actions to reduce emissions have been unsuccessful. UNFCCC is the global center for climate change policy and the host of the greatest concerted will to fight climate change, the Paris Agreement. Even with the hopeful aim and goals of the agreement, global emissions are nonetheless not decreasing as fast as they need to. I argue that this is due to global trade policies, primarily established by the WTO, that are clashing with aims of the Paris Agreement. As it is, the WTO can be a hinderance of the agreement’s implementation. Still, I claim it can be a key agent for its progression. However, there needs to be a Keynesian restructuring of the WTO, from neoliberal ideology to capitalist regulation. To test my claim, I use a combination of literature review with document analysis to analyze the clashes and potential synergies within the WTO and Paris Agreement’s framework. I conclude that the resulting clashes relate to the WTO’s trade policy and neoliberal ideology, where free trade and global economic growth trumps environmental concern. This is done in four ways. Firstly, the single focus on the EGA. Secondly, by allowing subsidization for fossil fuels while penalizing the same for renewable energy. Thirdly, the TRIPS agreement’s hinderance of climate technology transfer. Lastly, the narrow window for national climate policy, GATT XX. Yet, I also illustrate that the WTO can aid in the success of the Paris Agreement, by applying a Keynesian perspective. This could allow sufficient nation sovereignty for climate policy while creating an environment where members of the agreement are cooperating for climate instead of competing for economic growth. My thesis highlights the importance of Sustainability Science’s participation in the debate on the trade- and climate policy relationship. There is a need to critically analyze the clashes and search for robust solutions that will reduce emissions on a global scale, within the institutional architecture of the WTO and the UNFCCC.},
  author       = {Markkula, Tina},
  keyword      = {WTO,Paris Agreement,Keynes,Climate Change,Sustainability Science,Trade Policy},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {“I guess everyone is a Keynesian in a foxhole” The story of the war against climate change and how regulated capitalism can make the WTO a force of good},
  year         = {2019},
}