The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.
The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may include:
The Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) is one of two Climate Investment Funds administered by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and is designed to fund and pilot ‘new approaches with potential for scaled-up, transformational action aimed at a specific climate change challenge or sectoral response’.
The MDBs involved are: African Development Bank; Asian Development Bank; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Inter-American Development Bank; World Bank Group. In total the SCF commands a budget of US$ 1.9 billion and invests this through 3 targeted programmes:
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is an independent financial organisation that invests in projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a voluntary international agreement signed by 175 national governments. It provides a framework for subjecting the international trade of certain specimens to monitoring and control. It is legally binding and signatories must ensure that adequate national measures are undertaken to comply to it.
Species covered by the convention can be categorised into three main types (detailed in Annexes).
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Partnership for Development Initiative commits ICMM member companies to improving and instigating partnerships between themselves, governments, development agencies and civil society to improve the contribution of mining to socio-economic development.
The initiative’s 6 priority areas are:
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).
SOCIALCARBON (Version 5, 2013) is a complementary standard that certifies carbon reduction projects for their contributions to sustainable development. It is applied to lots of different projects that have already achieved certification for their carbon reduction/avoidance activities - from small ones such as income generation intiatives for local communities, to large one including hydroelectric plants.
The aims of the standard are to:
The Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that uses certification to move soya traders and producers towards reponsible production.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the three market based instruments included in the Kyoto Protocol (1997). It is designed to help countries meet emissions reductions, encourage private sector involvement and contribute to sustainable development.