What Is Meant By Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Since the beginning of the negotiations, discussions have focused on the scope of the negotiating mandate (including the definition of specific trade commitments) and the possible outcomes of the negotiations. At the same time, members also began to share their national experiences in negotiating and implementing trade measures nationally under multilateral environmental agreements. Most environmental problems are cross-border and often global and can only be effectively addressed through international cooperation. That is why the Lisbon Treaty stipulates that one of the main objectives of the EU`s environmental policy is to promote action at the international level to address regional or global environmental problems, and in particular to combat climate change. The EU is actively involved in the development, ratification and implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. Between 1857 and 2012, 747 multilateral agreements on the environment were concluded. [3] After the Intergovernmental Conference in Stockholm in 1972, the creation of international environmental agreements multiplied. [5] The United Nations has made MMAs popular, most MMAs have been implemented since 1972 at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference). [6] The Stockholm Declaration was adopted by the 113 countries attending the conference and was the first major universal document in an environmental issue. [6] The EU has already ratified many international environmental agreements, whether at the global level (multilateral agreements negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations) and at the regional level (for example. B within the framework of the UNITED Nations Economic Commission for Europe or the Council of Europe) and at the sub-regional level (for example. B for the management of seas or cross-border rivers). The themes covered in these agreements are very broad: biodiversity and nature protection, climate change, protection of the ozone layer, desertification, chemical and waste management, cross-border water and air pollution, environmental policy (including impact studies, access to information and public participation), work accidents, maritime and river safety, environmental responsibility.

These negotiations aim to reaffirm the importance of trade and environmental policy in the interests of both areas. They focus on how WTO rules apply to WTO members who are parties to environmental agreements, including clarifying the link between certain trade measures taken under environmental agreements and WTO rules. The action programme also contains a horizontal priority objective, which aims to help the EU more effectively address international environmental and climate challenges. It recalls that the Union intends to achieve good results in terms of accession to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and calls on the EU and its Member States to participate proactively in international negotiations on new and emerging issues. There are more than 250 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) that deal with various environmental issues that are currently in force. About 20 of them contain provisions that could affect trade. They may include, for example, measures prohibiting trade in certain types or products or allowing countries to restrict trade in certain circumstances.