Chaire de recherche du Canada en ÉPI

Université Laval

Team

Noémie Laurens is a PhD candidate in political science at Laval University. She holds a Master’s in Management from HEC Paris and a Master’s degree in environmental economics from Université de Bordeaux. 

She has been working as a research assistant at the Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy since June 2017. Her work at the Chair consists in building and updating data sets of trade and environmental treaties. She also works on several research papers relying on these data sets. 

In the Fall semester 2021, Noémie taught an undergraduate course on the structuration of research to a group of 104 students.  

Noémie was a visiting researcher at McGill University (Montreal) in 2019, at the Graduate Institute (Geneva) in early 2020, and at the Montreal Center for International Studies (CÉRIUM) in early 2021. 

In 2019, Noémie was granted a three-year scholarship by the Québec Research Fund on Society and Culture (FRQSC). 

Dissertation: Designing living treaties: An investigation of the frontier between institutional adaptability and adaptation.

Contact: noemie.laurens.1@ulaval.ca 

Research interest

International relations, environmental governance, international trade, institutional design, survival analysis, statistical analysis, network analysis, QCA

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Laurens, N, C. Brand & J-F Morin (2021) "Climate and Trade Policies: From Silos to Integration" Climate Policy accepted for publication. 


    This paper investigates linkages between trade and climate policies by examining commitments made in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. While environmental protection and economic growth are often perceived as conflicting policy goals, PTAs and NDCs have the potential to encourage mutually supportive approaches to climate and trade governance. Building upon three recent datasets, the paper locates a sample of 21 countries in a typology of four issue-linkage strategies across both types of instruments: policy integration, policy silos, asymmetry in favor of trade policy, and asymmetry in favor of climate policy. It finds that countries that reveal a preference for strong linkage with climate in their PTAs typically do not reveal a preference for strong trade linkage in their NDCs, and vice versa. No state from the sample favors strong policy integration. After sketching out possible explanations for this observation, the paper concludes that policy-makers have significant room for enhancing synergies between trade and climate commitments and that scholars have a role to play in this endeavor.  


  • Laurens, N and JF Morin (2019) "Negotiating Environmental Protection in Trade Agreements: A Regime Shift or a Tactical Linkage?" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 19(6), 533-556.


    The prolific literature on the relationship between the trade and environmental regimes suffers from three shortcomings. First, it myopically focuses on multilateral institutions while the vast majority of trade and environmental agreements are bilateral. Second, when studies consider preferential trade agreements’ (PTAs) environmental provisions, they are often limited to US and EU agreements. Third, it examines how the trade and environmental regimes negatively affect each other, leaving aside their potential synergies. Conversely, this article assesses the potential contribution of PTAs to international environmental law. Several PTAs include a full-fledged chapter devoted to environmental protection and contain detailed commitments on various environmental issue areas. One possible scenario is that countries that are dissatisfied with traditional settings for environmental lawmaking engage in a process of “regime shifting” toward PTAs to move forward on their environmental agenda. The alternative is that PTAs’ environmental provisions are the result of “tactical linkages” and merely duplicate extant obligations from international environmental law to serve political goals. We shed light on this question by building on two datasets of 690 PTAs and 2343 environmental treaties. We investigate four potential contributions of PTAs to environmental law: the diffusion of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), the diffusion of existing environmental rules, the design of new environmental rules, and the legal prevalence of MEAs. The article concludes that the contribution of PTAs to the strengthening of states’ commitments under international environmental law is very modest on the four dimensions examined.


    Voir la publication originale en format pdf

  • Laurens, N, Z Dove, JF Morin and S. Jinnah (2019) "NAFTA 2.0: The Greenest Trade Agreement Ever?", World Trade Review 18(4) : 659-677.


    The renegotiation of what US President Trump called “the worst trade deal ever” has resulted in the most detailed environmental chapter in any trade agreement in history. The USMCA mentions dozens of environmental issues that its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), overlooked, and in line with contemporary US practice, brings the vast majority of environmental provisions into the core of the agreement, and subjects these provisions to a sanction-based dispute settlement mechanism. It also jettisons two controversial NAFTA measures potentially harmful to the environment. However, this paper argues that the USMCA only makes limited contributions to environmental protection. It primarily replicates most of the environmental provisions included in prior agreements, and only introduces three new environmental provisions. Moreover, it avoids important issues such as climate change, it does not mention the precautionary principle, and it scales back some environmental provisions related to multilateral environmental agreements.


    Voir la publication originale en format pdf

Op eds