Since 2001, a range of ways of liberalising world trade and better involving developing countries in the international exchange of goods and merchandise have been discussed in the context of the "Doha Round". Although there is no doubt about the economic potential of lowering export barriers, time and again the negotiations broke up because of the very different interests of the states involved.
As part of this project, adelphi reviewed the proposals of the current round of WTO negotiations in terms of their potential impact on the environment. In addition, proposals for incorporating environmental issues into the planned liberalisation measures were drafted. One aspect of the project involved directly observing negotiations during the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Cancun in September 2003. In addition to this, however, it also entailed drafting and scrutinising specific proposals aimed at facilitating trade in environmental goods and services.