“Green trade protectionism”: an analysis of three new issues that affect developing countries

February, 2013
María Victoria Lottici
Carlos Galperín
Julia Hoppstock

The environment is increasingly being used to justify protectionist measures that enjoy greater social legitimacy. In the last years new issues have been included and in this study we will analyse three of them: green growth and green economy, climate change response measures, and the liberalisation of environmental goods and services. These new issues are used both to apply barriers to the goods and services coming from developing countries and to enhance the access of developed countries’ exports of industrial products. All this ends up in a “green protectionism” which is aimed at improving the trade balance of developed countries, especially in relation to developing countries. In the multiple forums where these topics are being debated, Argentina has claimed that these issues should neither result in a green protectionism nor encourage policies that constitute disguised restrictions on international trade, which would be inconsistent with the multilateral trading system and with the international environmental law, in particular with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. (Full text only available in Spanish).