The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

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Recommendations for Delivering a Decarbonization Agenda

The Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is an ambitious engagement strategy. A Scholl Chair in International Business paper assesses the two IPEF pillars that most closely relate to climate change objectives: the Commerce Department’s clean economy pillar and the environment sub-pillar of USTR’s connected economy initiative. In evaluating pillars relevant to climate change mitigation, this paper outlines the negotiating objectives the United States should establish as it pursues deeper collaboration with regional partners. The paper also assesses which architecture would most effectively facilitate tangible outcomes and how to design a possible administrative body for the IPEF. Establishing clear goals at the outset provides greater clarity on which policies would be best suited to achieve those goals and is also instructive in helping the administration avoid duplicating efforts already underway elsewhere, including in Conference of the Parties (COP) negotiations and other multilateral fora. Furthermore, it is important to pursue goals that are politically attainable domestically, appeal to partners abroad, and advance ambitious decarbonization efforts. Following interviews with current and former U.S. government officials, regional government officials, and a wide range of private sector and civil society experts both in the United States and throughout the Indo-Pacific region, this paper evaluates opportunities to use trade and investment policy to exact more ambitious climate outcomes within the IPEF that avoid duplicating existing efforts. 

This report was made possible by support from the Hewlett Foundation. 

Emily Benson
Director, Project on Trade and Technology and Senior Fellow, Scholl Chair in International Business

Grant Reynolds

Intern, Scholl Chair in International Business