Climate Change Has Changed The Way We Understand Economic Growth And Development

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Concerns about the relation between economic growth and development, and environmental issues have been emerging, including the discussion whether fundamental changes in society is required to realize long-term environmental sustainability. Several measures have been introduced in order to address climate change; on the other hand, the extent to which climate change has changed the way we understand economic growth and development is controversial. This essay will argue that climate change has changed the way we understand economic growth and development to a limiting extent with the following underpinnings; powerful economic institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have not taken environmental issues into…show more content…
For instance, when the United States imposed a ban on tuna imports from Mexico in 1991 due to their findings that Mexicans were using nets which often threatened dolphins, the GATT considered the ban as a violation (French, 2003:467). Despite the fact that the GATT and the WTO ostensibly supports the rights of countries to protect the environment, this case showed that the rule only applies to activities within their the borders (French, 2003:467). Considering that environmental problems transcend national borders and cannot be resolved by national governments individually, the GATT rule imposes a significant restriction on protection of the environment. Moreover, there is a clear inconsistency between climate change discourse and the WTO’s provisions. In 1992, The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development declared that “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation” (French, 2003:470). On the other hand, the WTO’s provisions “require that health and safety laws be based on scientific principles and not be maintained with insufficient scientific evidence” (French, 2003:470). The EU law
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