Tuesday 26 June 2018, 17:45 - 19:15

Does our Alarming Climate Crisis Demand Border Adjustments Now?

John S. Odell, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, University of Southern California

With comments from Prof. Joost Pauwelyn

Auditorium A2
Maison de la Paix, Geneva


While the universally endorsed and widely ratified Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to limit temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, recent estimates indicate that countries' current added mitigation pledges only cover a third of the emissions reductions needed to achieve this goal.

One proposed tool, which would allow countries to scale up climate action at home without risking to see their efforts undermined by carbon leakage is border carbon adjustment.

While such measures have so far not been put to practice, the current climate urgency combined with the fact that the world’s largest economy and second largest emitter is now choosing to step aside has led John Odell, Professor Emeritus of International Relations with the University of Southern California, to revisit the border carbon adjustment topic.

At this talk, he will explain what a border carbon adjustment could look like if it is to be effective; compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization; and sensitive to development considerations. These ideas are further elaborated in his recent Think Piece for ICTSD.



  • John S. Odell, Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California



  • Joost Pauwelyn, Professor of International Law, and Co-Director, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Graduate Institute, Geneva


Theresa Carpenter, Executive Director, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Graduate Institute, Geneva

This event is jointly organised with the Centre for International Environmental Studies. For further enquiries about this event, please send an email to

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