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Publication - Aiming at sustainable trade in the context of the Rule of Law: What role for citizens and how international trade can help reduce fossil-fuel consumption

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Title
Aiming at sustainable trade in the context of the Rule of Law: What role for citizens and how international trade can help reduce fossil-fuel consumption
Publisher
Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies
Author
Rafael Leal-Arcas, Danai Papadea, Rosie Richardson
Published in
December 2019
Abstract
Two main issues are addressed in this article in the context of rule of law in the European Union and the World Trade Organization. The first issue is the role citizens can play in shaping sustainable trade. Sustainability constitutes a principal concern for various regimes that, because of their nature, are in constant interaction with climate change. The second issue this paper investigates is the potential role of international trade in reducing fossil-fuel consumption. The use of fossil fuels contributes to climate change, so there is no excuse for continued inaction. We argue that, in light of the lack of international consensus on how to effectively tackle climate change, an upstream carbon tax with reinvestment supported by border tax adjustments should be enacted unilaterally by the biggest emitters of green-house gases to reduce fossil-fuel consumption and incentivise global carbon abatement.
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