In a document shared with WTO in Geneva on Tuesday, India stated its concerns around four areas — carbon border measures, environment-based management of minimum residue limits in agriculture, deforestation-related steps and quantitative import restrictions based on green content of commodities. India has argued that in the fight against climate change and protection of the environment, developing and poor countries cannot be made to take the same set of commitments as rich nations.
A day later, in its paper before a WTO committee, China made a case for “dedicated multilateral discussions on the trade aspects and implications of certain environmental measures”. China said it wanted members implementing environmental measures with “wide ramifications” to submit a written report, and members would then discuss the legal basis of the steps, the link between their implementation and environmental objectives, their impact on trade, their consistency with WTO rules, and their impact on developing members.
In a recent interview, WTO deputy DG Anabel Gonzalez had suggested the Geneva-based body could be the platform for global talks related to trade-related issues on environment. The issues flagged by India and China have come at a time when the E U has set the stage for the rollout of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which includes taxes on products such as steel and aluminium. At the CO meet, developing nations such as India, China, Brazil and South Africa opposed the move.
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