EU promotes World Trade Organization initiatives on Trade and Environment

The European Union signed up to three new initiatives to step up joint action in the World Trade Organization, sending a strong political signal on pursuing a strong environmental and climate change agenda for trade. The first of these three initiatives focusses on policies that can best contribute to climate and environmental goals. Focus is on facilitating trade in environmental goods and services. The second initiative is concerned with fossil fuel subsidy reform, and the third is to reinforce the fight against plastic pollution.

The European Union is proud to co-sponsor these initiatives at the WTO. We believe trade policy has a role to play in tackling climate change and environmental degradation, which is why our new EU trade strategy is our greenest ever. WTO must also play its part, and we are now taking important steps in this regard. Countries from around the globe, including developed and developing WTO Members, are joining forces to send this strong political signal – and I trust that more will join in the future. Climate and environment issues must be tackled in a holistic way, not in silos: this is why the EU recently initiated the idea of a Trade Ministers Climate Coalition. This could make a big difference in building political momentum, helping to support the work we launch today.

Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis

The research carried out in MATS will support the first initiative through its set of 15 in-depth country, regional and product case studies which are to provide a deeper understanding of the conditions for sustainable trade between the EU and its trading partners in Africa, Asia and America. Each case study comprises an assessment of given trade regimes, of their environmental (including climate change) and social impacts, of factors affecting the resilience of food systems, and an analysis of institutional, regulatory, and legal frameworks.

Achieving environmental and climate change goals are key priorities under the EU’s new trade strategy published in February 2021.

Read more here.