This publication focuses on environmental goods and services (EGS) from the trade community perspective. EGS became part of the negotiating agenda at the WTO as included in par. 31 iii of the Doha Ministerial Declaration (DMD).
EGS can be instrumental in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The market potential for both goods and services is significantly growing in the developing world, whereas it has reached a certain maturity in developed countries. Multilateral trade negotiations seek to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers, whilst promoting sustainable development, and taking into account special and differential treatment as embedded in the overarching premise of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).
The UNCTAD secretariat implemented the project Building Capacity for Improved Policy Making and Negotiation on Key Trade and Environment Issues, sponsored by the government of United Kingdom , in a number of Spanish-speaking Central American and Caribbean countries. Regional and national activities concerning EGS confirmed its relevance for the region, and attempted to evaluate ex ante the implications of scenarios and modalities being discussed at the WTO. The parallel process of DR-CAFTA negotiations, in which most of the beneficiary countries were involved, raised some synergies between RTAs and MTS negotiations.
This monograph addresses key elements that were analyzed in the country-case studies, such as: risks and advantages of different trade liberalization scenarios; the relationship between regional trade agreements and multilateral trade agreements in the area of EGS; trade, environment, and development implications of trade liberalization of EGS; analysis of the Members´ lists (tariffs and trade flows in the region) submitted to the WTO; non-tariff barriers; the potential for including environmentally preferable products (EPP) in the negotiations; and identifying priorities in relevant capacity-building activities.