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morally-conscious environmental policies

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Environmentalists argue that trade liberalization harms the environment. The decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular have been the subject of much criticism. Carbaugh has described environmentalists' three primary assertions (Carbaugh, 2005):
- Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.

Proponents of trade liberalization argue that freer trade might actually improve the quality of the environment. For example, the international environmental policy of the U.S. and other industrial nations is based on the "polluter-pays principle." This approach is intended to give producers the incentive to develop more pollution-control techniques (Carbaugh, 2005).
recreate and evaluate the arguments and counter-arguments for the environmentalists' assertions described above.
Part 1: Recreate the arguments/counter-arguments
Approach this as an exercise in critical thinking; your goal is to represent a party's argument as accurately and as thoroughly as possible. For each argument and counter-argument, present the following information:
1. The party you represent
2. Your party's interests or objectives
3. Your party's assertion
4. A summary of the available evidence that supports your party's assertion and/or examples that illustrate the assertion.

Part 2: Summarize and evaluate the arguments/counter-arguments
write a document in which you:
1. Summarize each argument and counter-argument. Be sure to note the relevant parties in the debate and their interests/objectives.
2. Evaluate the arguments and counter-arguments. Be sure to address the following questions:
Can the conflicting positions in these debates be resolved? If yes, how? If not, why not? Your answer should be well-reasoned and supported with examples.

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Solution Preview

1) Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.

Party: Proponents of trade liberalization

Interests and objectives: To oppose the argument that trade liberalization conflicts with morally conscious environmental policies and promote free trade and liberalization.

Assertion with evidences: Trade liberalization does not conflict with morally conscious environmental policies. It can be supported from the fact that it is due to the virtue of trade liberalization and free trade only that more and more corporations and countries around the globe are sparing thoughts and resources about environmental protection. For example, several US multinational companies like Gap Inc. etc. are very strict about their sourcing and manufacturing policies in countries which act as their sourcing or manufacturing centres. They maintain strict standards in evaluating a vendor, supplier or manufacturing unit with respect to environmental factors and compliances. Another significant effect of globalization towards promoting environmental friendly policies is the development of carbon trading or popularly known as the new international currency: "Carbon credits". Carbon credits is encouraging corporations to reduce their emission via use of alternative sources of energy and replace polluting fuels like diesel.

One major source of environmental pollution in almost all countries is emissions from motor vehicles. Free trade and liberalization has lead to significant improvements in international research and development in this arena. All the leading manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM etc. meeting global emission standards. If trade liberalization will not have been there, these top class vehicles will not have been able to make inroads in developing countries like India, whee pollution is a big problem. Development of environment friendly fuels like CNG, bio diesel etc. is the fruit of international collaborations only. Trade liberalization has allowed countries to exchange these important resources between themselves. In short, we can say that benefits of trade liberalization towards environment friendly policies are, if not directly apparent, are visible in the following manner:

More efficient factor-use and consumption patterns through enhanced competition;
Poverty reduction through trade expansion and encouragement of a sustainable rate of natural resource exploitation;
An increase in the availability of environment-related goods and services through market liberalization; and
Better conditions for international cooperation through a continuing process of multilateral negotiations.

(Source: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/envir_e/envir_backgrnd_e/c4s1_e.htm )

Comment to student: the link above is very good analysis for this section. please read through it) ...

Solution Summary

Environmentalists argue that trade liberalization harms the environment. The decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular have been the subject of much criticism. Carbaugh has described environmentalists' three primary assertions (Carbaugh, 2005):
- Trade liberalization conflicts with morally-conscious environmental policies.

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