The Intersection of Trade, Investment and Climate Policy

Climate change is taking centre stage in global trade and investment policy. Differences in climate policies have prompted concerns over carbon leakage, for instance, with emission-intensive production moving to jurisdictions with more lax environmental regulation. In turn, policies are being developed to level the playing field through carbon border adjustment mechanisms. In recent years, efforts have also accelerated to achieve the Paris Agreement objective of aligning finance flows with climate goals. Shareholders, consumers and the public increasingly expect firms to monitor, report, and reduce emissions throughout their international supply chains, and demands in this area are being reflected in securities law disclosure requirements. Climate change objectives are emerging in due diligence regulation as well. With investment treaties being used for claims for billions of compensation for climate policies as well as for numerous claims involving renewable energy, international investment frameworks are increasingly being judged by their climate impacts. Through concrete examples from around the world, this deep dive will map the landscape of how the climate emergency is impacting global trade and investment policy. It will explore efforts to align trade and climate agendas and assess the implications for firms and governments. The deep dive will also provide a solid grounding to understand how international trade and investment law enable and constrain the governance of climate change, and what to expect over the coming years
Meet the instructor
Professor Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen
Lauge N Skovgaard Poulsen is Professor of International Relations & Law at University College London. Poulsen is chair of the OECD inter-governmental work with stakeholders and experts on investment treaties, where he leads discussions on investment treaties and climate change policy. He serves as specialist adviser to the UK House of Commons' International Trade Committee and leads Whitehall's advanced trade policy training programme. Poulsen was adviser to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2017 to 2020 and was appointed OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours List for services to UK trade policy. Before joining UCL, Poulsen was a postdoctoral fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and he has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution's Economic Studies Division and Melbourne Law School. Prof Poulsen is an editorial board member of several journals, including the Journal of International Economic Law. 
Patrick Jones - Course author