Climate change has become the most pressing concern around the world. Goal 13 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) urges Members to take immediate action to combat climate change. Goal 7 of the SDGs also advocates to facilitates access to renewable energy. Trade may intensify climate change, but it is also an essential part of the solution. When countries engage in global warming mitigation or adaptation initiatives, such as carbon border adjustment, green liberalization/green energy subsidy as well as sustainability standards, how to make WTO law reinforce the global response to the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability remains crucial. Particularly, how to address the suffering of developing countries and LDCs’ exports in an expected carbon-constrained world remains to be seen.
Against the above background, this semester, we will mainly focus our discussion on issues on climate change and WTO law. In addition, we will add a special session on the COVID pandemics, as part of the WTO Chairs Progromme (WCP), where National Taiwan University has been approved as the new WTO Chair.
Tentative topics to be discussed are as follows:
I. Trade and Climate Change Session
1. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change and the relevance of WTO Law: An Overview
2. Border Adjustments for Carbon Taxes
3. Local content measures and sustainable development
4. Trade in Goods Carrying Carbon Passports/sustainability standard
5. Renewable Energy-Climate Disputes before the WTO (e.g. Canada—Renewable Energy/Feed-in Tariff, US-India Solar Panels)
6. Fisheries subsidies and sustainable development
7. Green public procurement and climate change
8. Using the WTO to Facilitate and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement
II. WCP session (Guest speech)
9. Right to Health in GATS: The Movement of Health Professionals and the Use of Telemedicine in the Time of COVID-19 Outbreak
10. TRIPS and the Right to Health in Developing Countries during Public Health
11. Evolving Concept of “Essential Medical Product,” Mutable Infectious Diseases and the SCM Agreement
III. Negotiation Simulation Exercise
Students will be divided into several groups as country representatives/delegates, presenting a proposal for discussion in negotiation simulation exercise. The draft topic will be prepared by the instructor. Country’s proposals shall be well-prepared and sent to all participants at the latest prior to 3 days before class.