American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

The Role of Trade Regulations in the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Abhijeet Mukherji

DOI : 10.3844/ajebasp.2009.296.302

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Volume 1, Issue 4

Pages 296-302

Abstract

Problem statement: The complex issues involved in the role of trade regulations in sustainable management of natural resources have necessitated intensive research in this area. Approach: Hence this study highlights the fact that while the international community is making efforts to take concrete actions to protect the environment, mitigate the negative impacts of increased trade and promote the positive impacts (for example, by integrating environmental considerations into trade policies and international, regional and bilateral trade agreements), some of the most contentious issues affecting international trade involve environmental regulations that become technical barriers to trade (TBT). Although the WTO has the stated objective of-optimal use of the world's resources, sustainable development and environmental protection-the adjudication role of the WTO in trade disputes over environmental regulations as technical barriers to trade has put it at odds with some environmental groups. Results: Further, as there are no global environmental standards at present, the trade regulations are having a negative role to play in the sustainable management of natural resources. As a special reference regarding carbon trading, it has been observed in this study that most environmentalists see the Kyoto Protocol as the last best hope to counter global warming. But a growing number of civil society critics point out that the Protocol's "flexible," market-based mechanisms allow corporate polluters to evade their emissions reduction obligations by buying up and trading carbon sinks, also known as carbon assets or carbon offsets. Moreover, the Durban Declaration on Carbon Trading states that "Carbon trading will not contribute to protection of the Earth's climate". It further says that "it is a false solution which entrenches and magnifies social inequalities in many ways". Owing to these complex issues, this research in this area was necessitated. Conclusion: Thus in order to solve such pertinent issues, it has been pointed out that the role of the international trade regime can be an optimistic one towards the sustainable development of natural resources. This problem can be solved by following certain adjudicative and negotiated approaches, but this has to be scientifically, rationally and most importantly, morally backed and must be abided by all the countries of the world for the common interest of protecting their future generations from environmental pollution and its hazards. Moreover, research on this topic also seeks to give certain possible suggestions as to how effectively we can regulate the carbon trading to bring about the sustainable management of natural resources. Thus the implications of this research towards the business and trade regime, if followed, can only be positive, as it would pave the way for a an eco-friendly environment of business which would have sustainability as its essence by inculcating the element of intergenerational equity, so that the aesthetic and economic welfare of the generations that follow is not jeopardized.

Copyright

© 2009 Abhijeet Mukherji. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.