ABSTRACT

This book has proposed a more sophisticated approach to adjust the World Trade Organization (WTO) ban on China’s export duties. It begins with a distinction between export duties and ‘export duties plus’ that are imposed in combination with restrictions on Chinese consumption. The environmental exceptions under Article XX would only apply to the latter one, which are by nature much less protectionist than those imposed exclusively on exports. Furthermore, while Article XX generally requires ‘export duties plus’ to treat domestic and foreign consumers identically, ‘export duties plus’ might be justified for differentiating Annex I and non-Annex I parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This approach would allow China, as both a non-Annex I party as well as the largest emitter and exporter of carbon dioxide emissions, to effectively tackle carbon leakage. The competitive concerns of Western nations would accordingly be addressed so that they would be better able to win public support for more ambitious climate actions. The proposed ‘export duties plus’ are unlikely to be protectionist as shown in the example of them covering the aluminium sector in this chapter. The same chapter also discusses other positive implications of ‘greening’ the WTO ban.