Although free trade law and environmental law especially contained in multi lateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are more or less compatible, however, some twenty MEAs might create a conflicting situation with the GATT/WTO regime. Efforts through CTESS are being made to make the two regimes compatible with each other. But an amicable solution towards harmonizing them still seems to be far. It is said that if all WTO Member states have the political will to agree to one suggestion, the problem can be solved. But due to politicization of the WTO, a common view is difficult to be reached. It is true that all states want protection of the environment. It is evident from the fact that many MEAs have relatively a large number of members, and their member states are sincerely working on enforcing treaty norms contained in them. But when it comes to a conflict situation with international trade, differences among them becomes eminent. In spite of this, an optimistic view that the two regimes can be made complementary to each other is still being given importance. It is for this reason that states are forwarding their suggestions to the CTESS and the discussion is being carried forward on those suggestions. The paper critically examines the reality of ‘conflict or congruity’ between free trade law and environmental law, evaluates various suggestions to make the two regimes compatible with each other, and offers one suggestion that can bring about harmony and will be viable.
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