TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Sept09/02)
14 September 2009
Third World Network

Climate protectionism in the form of import tariffs or emission charges on imports coming from developing countries is becoming a major issue.  This issue was brought up at the Bonn climate talks in August, when India, suported by the G77/China, proposed text to be placed in the Copenhagen draft, to affirm that border taxes should not be put on developing countries' exports on climate grounds.

This issue emerged in a major way after the Waxman-Markey bill was passed by the US House of Representatives.  Also, President Sarkozy of France a few days ago proclaimed that he will lead Europe to impose carbon tariffs, following in the footsteps of the US Congress measure.

Below is an announcement of the latest South Bulletin of the South Centre, which focuses on the issue of climate protectionism.

The Bulletin is also attached here as a PDF file.

South Bulletin No. 40,   10 September 2009

Published by the South Centre  (


This issue of South Bulletin focuses on a new and dangerous trend – the rise of trade and technology protectionism, in the name of climate change. New laws pending in the United States Congress contain trade measures linked to emissions that cause climate change, that are targeted at imports coming from developing countries.   The laws also hinder technology transfer to developing countries as they prevent the relaxation of intellectual property rules.

The new climate protectionism is causing controversy at the UN’s climate talks, and is also likely to be taken up at the WTO.

The South Bulletin has 6 articles on this issue, explaining how the US laws work and their effects on developing countries, as well as reporting on how the developing countries took up the issue in the recent climate talks in Bonn.

The articles are on:

The rise of climate protectionism

Threat to block South’s exports on climate grounds

India, G77 propose text against trade protection in Copenhagen Draft

Analysis of the trade measures in the US climate bill

Competitiveness, trade and climate change linkages: Developing countries’ perspectives

Climate-technology protectionism and IPRs

We hope you find this issue of South Bulletin useful.  Please send us your comments to us at

Click the link  for the full South Bulletin

With best wishes,

Martin Khor
Executive Director, South Centre
Editor, South Bulletin

The rise of ‘Climate Protectionism’