WTO Treaty Provisions on Environment and Treaty Development
The WTO treaty contains 24 covered agreements and other understandings that are part of a single undertaking. Besides the preamble of the WTO establishing Agreement 1994 other multilateral trade agreements incorporated environmental issues, this part provides the short analytical overview of the environmental provisions under different multilateral agreements of WTO.
The most important greening occurred in the new world trade constitution is the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) and its annexes. The preamble of WTO Agreement is almost same as it was in the GATT. The GATT preamble recognises the developing of full uses of resources of the world , where the WTO Agreement ensures it in light of the objective of sustainable development, seeking both the preservation and protection of environment in a manner consistent with different levels of development. Presently the jurisprudence of WTO proves that the preamble of WTO Agreement has legal significance. In US Shrimp case the Appellate Body relied upon the WTO preamble to interpret the general exception clause in GATT Article XX. The appellate body stated that the preamble shows that WTO negotiators decided to qualify the optimal use of resources in accordance with the sustainable development. Steven Charnovitz here concluded that, “a WTO commitment to sustainable development is a hollow victory for environmentalists because that term has been stretched in a way so as to make it acceptable to all and meaningful for no one”