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  • Author: Maria Paniezi
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Carbon taxes become relevant for international trade when they are coupled with border tax adjustment (BTA) legislation for imported products. BTAs are intended to level the playing field between domestic and foreign products, but such tax schemes, if not designed properly, can be found to violate a country’s international commitments before the World Trade Organization (WTO). This paper argues that environmentally conscious governments can impose a WTO-compatible BTA to offset domestic CO2 legislation, and that federal governments need to engage in coordinated efforts to harmonize treatment of high CO2 emitters domestically, since domestic industries will not bear the burden of environmental regulation alone.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James Hinton, Kent Howe
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report outlines the impetus behind the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) International Intellectual Property Law Clinic, which operated for three months in 2014. It consisted of a partnership among the CIGI International Law Research Program (ILRP), Communitech (the Region of Waterloo’s hub for commercialization of innovative technologies) and leading intellectual property (IP) law firms. The report describes the new innovator’s commercialization dilemma — a multifaceted dilemma arising from lack of IP legal knowledge, lack of financial resources and the high costs associated with IP protection, all of which combine to place the new innovator in a vulnerable position at the early stages of their commercialization timeline. After briefly surveying the current environment for entrepreneurship-based clinics, the report describes the elements and structure of the CIGI clinic. The advantages for participating students as well as first-hand accounts of the benefits of the CIGI clinic are also detailed. Taking lessons learned from the CIGI clinic, the report illustrates how an IP-focused law clinic can help to address the commercialization dilemma. The report describes the manner in which IP clinics might be structured, while reviewing the associated benefits and challenges for each structure. The report also makes brief recommendations for governments, law societies, law schools and IP offices to support the provision of IP legal services through the law clinic model.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance, Entrepreneurship
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Runnalls
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 is designed to produce the next round of climate change action. There are reasons to believe that the chances for success at the multilateral level are better now that they were before, but even under the most optimistic scenarios, Paris will not be the end of the negotiations. The Paris summit will be crucial to maintaining the momentum that has been building in the private sector and civil society on the issue of climate change. COP 21 has generated an enormous amount of public interest. Civil society actions both before and during the Paris meeting promise to be on a grand scale. In addition, COP21 has excited action from a number of other levels of government not normally seen at these events. Leaders of the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD have all stated that climate change is the principal economic issue facing the world this century. There is a growing realization among the world's economic decision makers that the shift to a low-carbon economy is not only a necessity, but also may be less costly than we believe. The need to identify both public and private financing solutions is the greatest hurdle facing the Paris COP. CIGI's climate change research is tackling the issue of financing sustainable development, in addition to how agreements can be reached by smaller countries, how to address the problems of the delayed benefits from mitigation, ways that China can exercise leadership in this arena, and how the world's financial institutions can help mobilize climate finance from the private sector.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regulation, Financial Markets, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Sheng
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Central banks, when purchasing financial assets, should consider selecting assets that will promote sustainability, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. During the 2008 financial crisis, central banks deployed unconventional means to rescue failing banks and insulate economies from depression. Their asset purchases have had strong social impacts, but traditionally, central banks have not explicitly factored social objectives into their decisions or evaluated their impacts beyond the narrow monetary domain. Social impact investing is consistent with a central bank’s mandate to maintain price stability, but those not yet ready to move in this direction should at least incentivize bankers and asset managers to invest in, or lend to, climate mitigation activities and low-emission growth, as well as support a financial transaction tax.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus