About this Project

Status: Completed
Operational Plan: 2010

The ongoing environmental assessment of NAFTA is a cornerstone of the CEC. This project will enhance the CEC’s efforts to monitor the environmental effects of NAFTA and broaden the understanding of environment and trade linkages to promote policy coherence, at both the domestic and the regional levels in North America.

The project also aims to support the ongoing collaboration and information exchange among trade and environment officials of the three countries, with a view to improve regional and national coordination, including between the CEC and the NAFTA Free Trade Commission (FTC).

Background

The objective of the project is to advise the CEC on new approaches to the ongoing assessment of the environmental effects of trade liberalization in North America; prepare a comprehensive report that will summarize available information on the environmental effects of NAFTA, identify gaps and prioritize data needs concerning information about the environmental effects of trade liberalization in North America and to advise the CEC on new approaches to the ongoing assessment of the environmental effects of trade liberalization in North America.

Rationale

The CEC’s work thus far has contributed to a better understanding of trade and environment linkages, improved and informed environmental reviews of future trade and investment agreements by the Parties, and improved environmental assessments of NAFTA by the CEC and the Parties.

These benefits are expected to develop greater policy coherence at the domestic and regional levels in North America by helping the Parties make better policy choices on trade and environment issues. They will also help the CEC direct future work. The project will also provide the CEC and the Parties with improved tools to conduct assessments on the environmental effects of NAFTA.

Key Activities

Key activities of this project include:

1. Establish an independent ad hoc Panel of Experts as the lead group responsible to assess the environmental effects of NAFTA at 16 and prepare a report on its key findings. The final structure of the report will be defined during implementation of the project but should include a review of the state of play in relation to environmental assessment of trade in the NAFTA region, identification of emerging issues, and gaps and data needs for this work, together with a set of recommendations.

2. Continue supporting the collaboration among trade and environment officials, particularly through the TEWG.

Achievements

The expected outcomes of the project include:

  • Development of recommendations to the TEWG on how to improve the current process for assessing the environmental impacts of the NAFTA;
  • Production of a report on the environmental effects of NAFTA for the past 16 years together with recommendations to inform future assessment process.
  • Improved understanding of the environmental effects of trade liberalization;
  • Increased awareness of findings targeted audiences such as government officials, NGOs, private sector, local communities, scientific and academia;
  • Identification of gaps, emerging issues, prioritization of data needs and approaches to inform future work in relation to environmental assessment of NAFTA; and
  • Production of a report indicating the state of play in relation to environmental impacts of trade in the NAFTA region.