Working Paper

The WTO and Environmental Provisions: Three Categories of Trade and Environment Linkage


  • Khalilian
  • S.
Publication Date

The current WTO jurisdiction on linkages of trade and environment is not free of contradictions and has provided for heated debate due to some inconsistencies in past WTO rulings. The article argues that the WTO jurisdiction is not only unclear but also lacks economic reasoning. It aims to structure WTO provisions and WTO case rulings so that their application to three separate dimensions of environmental damage is set out clearly: domestic, cross-border and global pollution. The paper concludes is that only cases of cross-border and global pollution can legitimize trade measures against environmental pollution, albeit only direct trade interventions are really effective in these cases.


JEL Classification
F13, F18, K33, B52

Key Words

  • environment
  • Handelssanktionen
  • trade sanctions
  • WTO