Informace o publikaci

Role EU’s Free Trade Agreements in the implementation of the Paris Agreement through promotion of energy efficiency and transfer of low-carbon technologies


ŠVEC Martin

Rok publikování 2018
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Právnická fakulta

Popis The UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris together with the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development launched a new era of a global transition to a low-carbon economy. Ratification of the Paris Agreement is undoubtedly a turning point in the global response against climate change. Now, the world community is expected to effectively turn its both legal and political commitments into action; to move from rhetoric to practice. However, successful implementation of the Paris Agreement requires the widest possible cooperation by all countries, and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response. Articles 11 and 12 of the Paris Agreement explicitly refer to international cooperation by encouraging parties to enhance the capacity and ability of developing countries to take effective climate change action, in particular to implement adaptation and mitigation actions, to facilitate technology development, dissemination and deployment, to access climate finance and to raise public awareness and enhance transparency. The European Union presents itself being at the forefront of the transition to a low-carbon economy. In this context, EU puts considerable attention to energy and climate diplomacy. The EU aims at strengthening international cooperation to help its partners build climate resilience and reduce CO2 emissions as well as at exploring innovative mechanisms for mobilizing additional climate finance from private investors. It is understood that a transfer of low-carbon technologies is essential for achievement of goals set by the Paris Agreement. Trade agreements may a) effectively eliminate both tariff and non-tariff barriers between respective countries, b) provide necessary protection against the host state interference and consequently accelerate flow of investment in low-carbon technologies, c) strengthen regulatory frameworks that can facilitate private-sector engagement in transition to a low-carbon economy, and consequently enhance transfer of technologies. Against the background of global efforts to respond to climate change, EU promotes non-trade objectives (e.g. sustainable development, climate action) through its trade policy by leveraging trade agreements. In light of a various unsatisfactory attempts to facilitate transfer of low-carbon technologies at multilateral level, the EU has reinforced its trade policy, particularly in form of FTAs. The paper focuses on EU free trade agreements, assessing to what extent they incorporate climate related elements. In particular, the paper analyses chapters of FTAs in relation to promotion of energy efficiency and transfer of low-carbon technologies. The first section frames global transition towards a low-carbon economy in the context of recent developments, especially in light of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The second section reviews the principles of EU trade, climate, energy and development policy. The third section analyses relevant provisions of FTAs both in force and negotiated by the EU and discusses how did recent developments in EU climate and energy policies as well as EU’s obligations arising from international treaties, particularly from the Paris Agreement, affected actual wording of FTAs. The forth section describes recent proposals to further strengthen and align EU trade and climate policy. In other words, the paper aims at identifying to what extent does EU trade policy reflect non-trade objectives and to what extent does EU energy and climate policy seek to pursue its objectives via trade related instruments of international law.

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