Toeing the green line

Published: Saturday 31 July 2004

Renewed attempts were made to advance negotiations on environmental issues at the special session of the World Trade Organization's (wto) Committee on Trade and Environment (ctess), held in Geneva. While the us introduced a proposal aimed at resolving the conflicts between wto rules and multilateral environmental agreements (meas), the eu suggested ways to break the deadlock in parleys on environmental goods.

The us proposal urged members to enter into an "experience-based dialogue" on the real points of difference between wto rules and environmental treaties. Though the plan was well received, the eu said that just focusing on experiences would not be productive.

The eu also suggested a new way of developing lists of environmental goods on which duties would need to be cut. It proposed dividing the goods into those used in pollution control and resource management, and those with either high environmental performance or low environmental impacts.

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