随着国际贸易的发展，贸易与环境的关系问题日益引起世界各国的重视。从70年代起，关税与贸易总协定（GATT）就通过贸易与环境工作组讨论贸易与环境的关系问题。1995年世界贸易组织（WTO）成立后，建立了贸易与环境委员会（CTE）。其主要宗旨是“明确贸易措施与环境措施之间的关系以促进可持续发展；对多边贸易体系条款是否需要修改提出适当建议，这些建议必须与多边贸易体系的公开、公正、非歧视性原则相一致。” CTE每年对有关贸易与环境的10 个议题进行讨论。
With the development of international trade, the issue of the relationship between trade and environment has become the concern of countries all over the world. This issue had been addressed in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) through discussions within the Working Group on Trade and Environment since the 1970s. The World Trade Organization (WTO) established a Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) when it was launched in 1995. The CTE's main mandates are “to identify the relationship between trade measures and environmental measures, in order to promote sustainable development, and to make appropriate recommendations on whether any modifications of the provisions of the multilateral trading system are required, compatible with the open, equitable and non-discriminatory nature of the system.” The CTE adopted a 10-item trade and environmental agenda, holding discussions every year.
Largely pushed by the EC, the trade and environmental issue was adopted as part of the single-undertaking package of the new round multilateral trade negotiations at the very last minute after heated debates at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Doha in November 2001. It was then decided that the WTO Members shall negotiate on the trade and environmental issue (including three sub-issues).
根据2002年WTO贸易谈判委员会的要求，贸易与环境议题的谈判将在CTE特会上进行，谈判针对《多哈宣言》第31段展开，内容包括：（1）现有WTO规则与多边环境协议（MEAs）中具体贸易义务之间的关系；（2）MEAs秘书处与WTO相关委员会定期信息交流的程序和授予观察员地位的标准；（3）减少或消除环境货物和服务的关税与非关税壁垒。在CTE常会上将继续对原有的十项议题进行讨论，其中主要的议题有：(1)环境措施对市场准入，特别是发展中国家和最不发达国家的影响，以及减少或消除贸易限制或扭曲的情况给贸易、环境和发展带来的好处; (2) 与贸易有关的知识产权协定（TRIPS）的相关条款; (3)环境为目的的标签要求;等。 CTE常会将讨论结果向部长会议提交，并就未来行动做适当建议，由部长会议决定是否将讨论的议题列入未来谈判。
According to the requirements by the TNC of 2002, the trade and environmental negotiations would take place at the CTE Special Session. The Doha Declaration paragraph 31 calls on WTO Members to negotiate specifically on the following three issues: (1) the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs);(2) procedures for regular information exchange between MEA Secretariats and the relevant WTO committees, and the criteria for the granting of observer status;(3) the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services. Discussions on the 10 items of the CTE work programme would take place at the Regular Session of the CTE. Among the discussion items, focuses are made on： (1) the effect of environmental measures on market access, especially in relation to developing countries, in particular the least-developed among them, and those situations in which the elimination or reduction of trade restrictions and distortions would benefit trade, the environment and development;(2)the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; (3)labelling requirements for environmental purposes. The CTE Regular Session shall report the results of its work to the Ministerial Conference and make appropriate recommendations with respect to future action. The Ministerial Conference shall then review and decide on whether to launch negotiations next.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to trade and environmental issues and has been actively participating in the negotiations. China brought forward two submissions to the CTE Special Session in July 2003 (TN/TE/W/35/Rev.1 Identification of MEAs and Specific Trade Obligations) and June 2004 (TN/TE/W/42 Environmental Goods) respectively, and made its technical contributions in pushing forward the negotiations.
附：WTO有关贸易与环境的谈判授权 WTO Negotiating Mandates
31. 为提高贸易与环境之间的相互支持，我们同意在不对其结果妄加评论的基础上就下列问题进行谈判：(i) WTO现行规则与多边环境协定中制定的具体贸易义务之间的关系。谈判应仅限于这种现行WTO规则在有争议的多边环境协定缔约方中的适用。谈判不得损害不隶属于有争议的多边贸易环境协定的WTO 成员的权利；(ii) 多边贸易环境协定秘书处和相关WTO委员会之间定期交流信息的程序以及授予观察员地位的标准；(iii) 减少或在适当时取消与环境有关的货物和服务的关税和非关税壁垒；
Doha Ministerial Declaration Paragraph 31 to 33
31. With a view to enhancing the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment, we agree to negotiations, without prejudging their outcome, on:
(i) the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). The negotiations shall be limited in scope to the applicability of such existing WTO rules as among parties to the MEA in question. The negotiations shall not prejudice the WTO rights of any Member that is not a party to the MEA in question;
(ii) procedures for regular information exchange between MEA Secretariats and the relevant WTO committees, and the criteria for the granting of observer status;
(iii) the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services.
We note that fisheries subsidies form part of the negotiations provided for in paragraph 28.
32. We instruct the Committee on Trade and Environment, in pursuing work on all items on its agenda within its current terms of reference, to give particular attention to:
(i) the effect of environmental measures on market access, especially in relation to developing countries, in particular the least-developed among them, and those situations in which the elimination or reduction of trade restrictions and distortions would benefit trade, the environment and development;
(ii) the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; and
(iii) labelling requirements for environmental purposes. Work on these issues should include the identification of any need to clarify relevant WTO rules. The Committee shall report to the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference, and make recommendations, where appropriate, with respect to future action, including the desirability of negotiations. The outcome of this work as well as the negotiations carried out under paragraph 31(i) and (ii) shall be compatible with the open and non-discriminatory nature of the multilateral trading system, shall not add to or diminish the rights and obligations of Members under existing WTO agreements, in particular the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, nor alter the balance of these rights and obligations, and will take into account the needs of developing and least-developed countries.
33. We recognize the importance of technical assistance and capacity building in the field of trade and environment to developing countries, in particular the least-developed among them. We also encourage that expertise and experience be shared with Members wishing to perform environmental reviews at the national level. A report shall be prepared on these activities for the Fifth Session.