European Union to sponsor WTO initiatives on trade and environment

Thu 16 Dec 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The European Union has committed to boost the role of trade in the fight against climate change and protecting the environment.

It has 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 agenda for trade,” according to a European Commission statement.

‘Working jointly’

The EU and “a significant number” of WTO countries will now work jointly on facilitating trade in green goods and services, promoting sustainable supply chains and the circular economy.

They will also cooperate on battling plastic pollution and to enhance transparency of fossil fuel subsidies.

Trade policy’s role

“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,” executive vice-president and commissioner for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said.

The WTO “must also play its part,” Dombrovskis said, “and we are now taking important steps in this regard.”

A coalition of developed and developing WTO members would “send this strong political signal…[that] climate and environment issues must be tackled in a holistic way, not in silos, Dombrovskis added. It was why the EU recently initiated the idea of a Trade Ministers Climate Coalition, he said, “which would help support the work we launch today”.