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International Trade and the Montreal Protocol

By Duncan Brack

The interaction of trade liberalization and environmental protection is a subject of much current debate. The negotiation of multilateral environmental agreements is often proposed as the best way of modifying the international trading system if trade must be restricted in the interests of environmental sustainability. The Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances, probably the most effective such agreement, contains important provisions limiting or banning trade in ozone-depleting chemicals and products containing them.

This first report in the Trade and Environment series examines the consequences of the Protocol for trade, including the evolution of a substantial black market in controlled substances, the problems involved in trade between countries at different stages of phase out, implementation difficulties in the former Soviet Union, and the compatibility of the Protocol with the international trading system. It concludes by drawing lessons in the value and design of trade restrictions for future environmental treaties.

A Volume of RIIA Energy & Environment Programme’s Trade and Environment Series

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