Intensify our work on areas of common interest and to identify concrete actions that participating Members could take individually or collectively to expand opportunities for environmentally sustainable trade in an inclusive and transparent way, consistent with their obligations;
The Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) are intended to complement the work of the Committee on Trade and Environment and other relevant WTO bodies and to support the objectives of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO, which envisages a global trading system that protects and preserves the environment in accordance with sustainable development.
The co-coordinators of this initiative are Canada and Costa Rica.
The following WTO Members have co-sponsored the TESSD initiative:
Albania; Australia; Austria; Bahrain, Kingdom of; Barbados; Belgium; Brazil; Bulgaria; Cabo Verde; Canada; Chad; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Ecuador; Estonia; European Union; Fiji; Finland; France; the Gambia; Germany; Greece; Honduras; Hong Kong, China; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao, China; Maldives; Malta; Mexico; Moldova, Republic of; Montenegro; Netherlands; New Zealand; North Macedonia; Norway; Panama; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of; Senegal; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Suriname; Sweden; Switzerland; Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu; Tajikistan; Türkiye; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Vanuatu;
The coordinators of the TESSD initiative release an informal summary of every plenary and working group meetings after their conclusion.
TESSD Plenary and Informal Working Groups meetings summaries:
- Informal Working Groups Meetings (10-11 May 2023) Summary
- Informal Working Groups Meetings (16-17 March 2023) Summary
- High-level stocktaking event (2 December 2022) Co-convenors summary
- Plenary and Informal Working Group Meetings (2022) Summary Report
- Informal Working Groups Meetings (4-5 October 2022) Aide-mémoire
- Plenary 08 (19-20 July 2022) Informal Coordinators’ Summary
- Informal Working Group on Environmental Goods and Services (17 May 2022) Facilitators’ summary
- Informal Working Group on Circular Economy (18 May 2022) Facilitators’ summary
- Informal Working Group on Subsidies (18 May 2022) Facilitators’ summary
- Working Group on Trade-Related Climate Measures (17 May 2022) Facilitators’ summary
- Plenary 07 (31 March, 11 April 2022) Informal Coordinator Summary
- Plenary 06 (7 February 2022) Informal Coordinator Summary
- Plenary 05 (4 November 2021) Informal Coordinator Summary
- Plenary 04 (16-17 September 2021) Informal Coordinator Summary
- Plenary 03 (19 July 2021) Informal Coordinators’ Summary
- Plenary 02 (26-28 May 2021) Informal Coordinators’ Summary
- Plenary 01 (5 March 2021) Informal Coordinators’ Summary
TESSD Co-convenors have released their tentative meeting dates for 2023 (INF/TE/SSD/W/22/Rev.1).
|Dates (2023)||TESSD Meeting|
|16-17 March||Working Groups|
|9-10 May||Working Groups|
|19-20 September||Working Groups|
|21-22 November||Working Groups|
The following official documents relating to TESSD have been released publicly:
Informal Working Group on Circular Economy-Circularity’s mapping exercise on trade and trade policy aspects of circular economy
Date: 5 July 2023 Member: Informal Working Group on Circular Economy-Circularity Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/27 Our summary: This mapping exercise provides an overview of trade and trade policy aspects of circular economy, covering member’s initiatives and experiences, measures related to circular economy in notifications and trade policy reviews, and aspects based on presentations, analytical work and discussions in the Group.
Draft proposal for a trade and environmental sustainability tool
Date: 30 June 2023 Member: Co-conveners Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/28 Our summary: This draft proposes a tool to provide the WTO membership with a living transparency and cooperation tool to reflect the progress Members are making in their trade and environmental policies and good practices to achieve climate objectives.
United Kingdom’s technical paper on Offshore Wind Energy
Date: 23 May 2023 Member: United Kingdom Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/26 and INF/TE/SSD/W/26/Add.1 Our summary: These papers explore the goods and services associated with the production and trade in offshore wind energy.
United Kingdom’s technical paper on environmental goods
Date: 23 March 2023 Member: United Kingdom Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/23 Our summary: This paper suggests TESSD can be used to collaborate, and develop evidence, a shared evidence base on environmental goods. It explains the concept of value chain analysis and how it can contribute to building the proposed evidence base around environmental goods.
Date: 30 November 2022 Member: TESSD Co-convenors Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/21 Our summary: This statement from the co-convenors recognizes the work undertaken by members in discussions and working group meetings in 2022 and the progress made so far.
WTO Secretariat’s factual note on experiences in the promotion and facilitation of environmental goods and services
Date: 23 March 2022 Member: WTO Secretariat (at the request of the TESSD Coordinators) Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/18 Our summary: This note provides a factual summary of past experiences and current efforts in the promotion and facilitation of environmental goods and services (EGS), as well as an overview of research on the possible benefits and challenges of trade in EGS.
Ministerial Statement on Trade and Environmental Sustainability (MC12)
Date: 15 November 2021 Member: All TESSD Parties Document: WT/MIN(21)/6 Our summary: This proposed statement was agreed by the parties ahead of MC12 and opened for co-signatures. It is reproduced in full at bottom of this page.
Japan’s Proposal for the WTO’s Contribution to Achieving Carbon Neutrality
Date: 22 March 2021 Member: Japan Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/10 Our summary: This document outlined Japan’s proposals for how the WTO could contribute to achieving carbon neutrality.
Iceland’s Priorities for the TESSD Discussions
Date: 12 February 2021 Member: Iceland Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/5 Our summary: This communication laid out Iceland’s priorities for the TESSD discussions. Iceland believes the TESSD should focus on issues which fall within the WTO’s mandate and can be linked to actual trade policy tools. It considers these to include the liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services and addressing environmentally harmful subsidies.
The European Union’s Priorities for TESSD Discussions
Date: 8 February 2021 Member: The European Union Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/7 Our summary: The European Union called for discussions in the TESSD on the liberalization of trade in green/climate-friendly goods and services, on how to engage more developing countries on environmental topics and greening aid for trade, and on the transparency of domestic measures such as fossil fuel subsidies, carbon border mechanisms, and the transparency function of the Committee on Trade and Environment more generally.
Topics Switzerland Believed Should be Covered by TESSD
Date: 8 February 2021 Member: Switzerland Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/4 Our summary: This communication laid out the areas Switzerland believed should be tackled within TESSD. Specifically the liberalization of environmental goods and services, fossil fuel subsidies, greening aid for trade, the circular economy, plastic pollution, climate adaptation and biodiversity. It also left open the possibility of discussions on other topics.
New Zealand’s Argument and Proposal for Including Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in TESSD
Date: 5 February 2021 Member: New Zealand Document: INF/TE/SSD/W/1 Our summary: This communication saw New Zealand make its case for inclusion of fossil fuel subsidy reform as part of the TESSD discussions and included a proposed structure for such an inclusion for adotpion by the TESSD co-sponsors.
The Sustainability portions of this website would not be possible without the support and contributions of our friends at the TESS Forum. TESS supports trade policies that advance environmental sustainability and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It facilitates dialogue and action to align trade and trade policy with the urgent need for global action on the intersecting crises of climate, nature and pollution, informed by the need to address the social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. Launched in mid-2021, TESS is a partnership of the Geneva Graduate Institute and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and we are proud to house it at the Geneva Trade Platform.
WTO - Members discuss possible TESSD outcomes for delivery at MC13 WTO members taking part in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) on 11 July considered possible outcomes to promote opportunities for environmentally sustainable trade for delivery by the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) to be held in February 2024. Members also welcomed Barbados as the newest participant in TESSD, which now includes 75 WTO members as co-sponsors.
Members advance work on environmental issues in specific sectors after stocktaking event WTO members taking part in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) advanced work in four informal working groups covering climate measures, subsidies, environmental goods and services, and the circular economy at their first meeting of the year on 16-17 March.
WTO - Members take stock of sustainability discussions, signal priorities for concrete action WTO members participating in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) on 2 December held a high-level event to take stock of progress made this year and to signal their priorities for further work ahead of the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13).
WTO - Participants advance work on environmental sustainability, eye high-level event WTO members participating in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) on 11 November reviewed progress in the four informal working groups under the initiative as well as preparations for a high-level stocktaking event scheduled for 2 December.
IISD - Trade and Sustainability Discussions at WTO Approaching Next Milestone Following a ministerial statement in 2021, TESSD participants, established four informal working groups, which cover trade-related climate measures, environmental goods and services, circular economy – circularity, and subsidies.
WTO - Preparations under way for high-level event on environmental sustainability in December At a plenary meeting on 19-20 July, WTO members taking part in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) explored the next steps in preparing for a high-level event in December and proposals for outcomes.
WTO - WTO members share early results and plans to ramp up action on trade and environment Co-sponsors of three separate environmental talks at the WTO announced on 13 June, at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), the concrete steps they are taking to advance work on plastics, fossil fuel subsidy reform, and environmental sustainability to pave the way for outcomes that will harness trade for the planet’s protection.
IISD - Trade and Environment Agenda Inches Forward Ahead of MC12 Discussions on trade and environmental sustainability, plastic pollution, and fossil fuel subsidy reform within the WTO have continued to progress despite the postponement of the Twelfth Ministerial Conference. This policy analysis takes a closer look at the activities taking place under the three main initiatives and their areas of focus ahead of the conference.
WTO - Members deepen discussions on trade and environmental sustainability WTO members taking part in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) held the first round of in-depth discussions on 17-18 May on four specific issues under the TESSD heading.
WTO - Members launch discussions under trade and environmental sustainability work plan for 2022 WTO members taking part in the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) met on 31 March to initiate discussions on a variety of topics as part of their agreed 2022 work plan.
WTO - Participants discuss work plan for new trade and environmental sustainability talks WTO members taking part in a new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability met on 7 February to review a proposed 2022 work plan and exchange views on priorities for discussion. Representatives from international organizations and civil society groups also offered their views on the focus for work in the coming year.
IISD - Ministerial Statement Highlights Environmentally Sustainable Trade WTO Members released the TESSD Ministerial Statement despite the postponement of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. The ministerial statement recognizes “sustainable development and the protection and preservation of the environment” as “fundamental goals of the WTO,” and acknowledges the role of international trade and trade policy in supporting environmental and climate objectives and promoting more sustainable consumption and production to help reach the SDGs. It also notes the importance of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in furthering these goals, including the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
WTO - Proposed TESSD Statement for MC12 Published In a communication dated 15 November, the proponents of TESSD circulated their proposed Ministerial Statement for the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference as WTO document WT/MIN(21)/6.
WTO - China, US welcomed as new participants in trade and environmental sustainability talks WTO members taking part in the new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability welcomed China and the United States as new co-sponsors for the discussions at their meeting on 4 November. Participants also expressed broad support for a draft ministerial statement that would set out future work for the initiative in areas such as trade and climate change as well as fix a road map for advancing discussions in 2022.
WTO - Members advance work on trade and environmental sustainability ministerial declaration WTO members taking part in the new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability continued to advance work on a joint statement which they intend to issue at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) later this year.
WTO - Members review draft MC12 declaration on trade and environmental sustainability WTO members taking part in a new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability provided their first comments on 19 July on possible elements for a joint statement which participants hope to issue at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) later this year.
IISD - WTO Members Assess MC12 Options for Trade, Environmental Sustainability Work The group of World Trade Organization (WTO) members undertaking “structured discussions on trade and environmental sustainability” (TESSD) is moving ahead on its efforts to determine what its work may cover and how – including what they could include in a ministerial statement ahead of the Organization’s highest-level meeting in December.
IISD - G7 Trade Track Backs WTO Reform, Builds Momentum to COP 26 The G7 countries recognized the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) at the WTO as an opportunity to build momentum to achieve coordinated solutions for global problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss, including through the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, UK, in November. The ministers agree that countries should work collaboratively to address the risk of carbon leakage and its potential impact on countries that have adopted rigorous approaches to reduce carbon emissions.
WTO - Members discuss possible MC12 deliverables on trade and environmental sustainability WTO members taking part in a new initiative on trade and environmental sustainability continued their discussions on possible outcomes to be agreed at the WTO’s upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) during the second meeting of the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) on 26-28 May.
IISD - Trade and Environment Structured Discussions Among WTO Member Group Get Underway Prior to the meeting, TESSD participants made nine submissions outlining what the structured discussions might cover, giving a sense of early priorities.
WTO - First meeting held to advance work on trade and environmental sustainability The first meeting of WTO members taking part in a new initiative aimed at advancing work on trade and environmental sustainability took place virtually on 5 March. Participants outlined their views on what the priority issues for discussion should be and what concrete outcomes could be delivered at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) and beyond.
WTO - New initiatives launched to intensify WTO work on trade and the environment Two proponent groups launched new initiatives to intensify discussions at the WTO on trade and the environment on 17 November, the second day of the WTO’s Trade and Environment Week. The initiatives establish structured discussions on trade and environmental sustainability and an informal dialogue on plastics pollution.
TESS Forum - Nature-Positive Trade for Sustainable Development Author: Marianne Kettunen
This policy brief seeks to present a mutually supportive vision for biodiversity, sustainable trade, and sustainable development towards 2030 and beyond, using the World Trade Organization’s multilateral trade framework as its backdrop. The brief provides an overview of the global biodiversity framework and how efforts to shape and implement this agenda are linked to trade and trade policies and measures. It focuses on identifying how work on sustainable trade at the WTO can contribute to the delivery of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted in December 2022, while supporting sustainable development.
TESS Forum - Trade and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Latin America: A Framework for International Cooperation Author: Lorena Palomo Parada
This policy paper examines the various climate mitigation and adaptation commitments and efforts of Latin America in prioritized areas (agriculture and livestock, mining, electromobility, innovation in new technologies and processes, and circular economy). It discusses the linkages between climate measures and trade and how international cooperation on trade and trade-related policies could support these efforts. The author then identifies a set of policy priorities and recommendations.
TESS Forum - Trade-Related Climate Priorities for CARICOM at the World Trade Organization Author: Jan Yves Remy
This policy paper argues that the prospect of a new “sustainability agenda” at the World Trade Organization presents new opportunities for members of CARICOM. It proposes key elements for a trade-related climate change agenda for CARICOM countries at the WTO. It also reflects on the trade-related climate priorities of CARICOM in regional, bilateral, and multilateral trade negotiations, with a focus on how these priorities might be best formulated in the context of ongoing WTO negotiations and processes. The author then makes recommendations on how the emerging WTO sustainability agenda can be used to promote CARICOM’s trade-related climate interests.
TESS Forum - A Southeast Asian Perspective on Trade and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Author: Alice Pham
This policy paper examines the various adaptation and mitigation efforts of ASEAN in prioritized sectors (agriculture, energy, and land-use, land-use change, and forestry). It discusses how international cooperation on trade and trade-related policies could complement or support these efforts and identifies priority areas for action and recommendations at the regional and multilateral level.
TESS Forum - Trade and Sustainability in the Agricultural Sector: Options for Multilateral Trade Cooperation Author: Christophe Bellmann
This policy brief explores the complex relationship between trade, trade policies, and sustainability in the agricultural sector in light of the challenges facing the global food system and the environment. The author reviews a range of options for harnessing trade policies to promote sustainable agricultural production and trade, and to discourage unsustainable practices, in the context of the rules and functions of the World Trade Organization. He also identifies opportunities to strengthen a focus on sustainability in agricultural trade in the WTO’s negotiating agenda as well as its regular committees, and highlights the opportunities to harness deliberative platforms like the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions to explore opportunities for multilateral cooperation.
TESS Forum - Trade and Climate-Resilient Development in Africa: Towards a Global Green New Deal Author: Faizel Ismail
This policy paper argues that Africa needs to mainstream climate change into its development strategy by advancing climate-resilient development through several pathways including: renewable energy and transformative green industrialization; agriculture, food, and nutrition security and climate change adaptation; strengthening its development finance institutions; engaging in multilateral fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO); and asserting its agency in contributing to a compact on a global green new deal.
TESS Forum - Trade and Climate Change in the World Trade Organization Author: Christophe Bellmann
This policy brief explores the relationship between trade, climate change, and sustainable development, and the potential for trade policies to help address the climate crisis in the context of international cooperation at the World Trade Organization. It looks at how and where these issues have been discussed in the multilateral trading system and suggests possible options for meaningful cooperation.
TESS Forum - Greening Aid for Trade: Pathways for a Just and Fair Transition to Sustainable Trade Author: Carolyn Deere Birkbeck
This policy paper argues that greening aid for trade requires a nuanced approach that pursues simultaneous action through six complementary pathways underpinned by the sustainable development priorities of developing and least developed countries: mainstreaming environmental goals into aid for trade, securing new resources for environment-related aid for trade support, fostering coherence between aid for trade and broader global policy agendas, ensuring aid for trade monitoring captures the environmental purpose and impact of aid for trade projects, integrating trade considerations into climate and environment funding, and strengthening South-South cooperation.
TESS Forum - Promoting and Facilitating Trade in Environmental Goods and Services: Lessons From Regional Trade Agreements Authors: Carla Vaca Eyzaguirre & Carolyn Deere Birkbeck
This policy paper reviews approaches to incorporating Environmental Goods and Services (EGS)-related provisions in trade agreements, defining the scope and coverage of EGS, and designing substantive provisions on EGS. It also examines support measures for developing countries. Based on this analysis, it presents a set of options that WTO members could consider when exploring ways to facilitate and promote trade in EGS.
IISD - Trade and Environment Agenda Inches Forward Ahead of MC12 Author: Ieva Baršauskaitė
Discussions on trade and environmental sustainability, plastic pollution, and fossil fuel subsidy reform within the WTO have continued to progress despite the postponement of the Twelfth Ministerial Conference. This policy analysis takes a closer look at the activities taking place under the three main initiatives and their areas of focus ahead of the conference.
TESS Forum - Trade and Environment at the World Trade Organization: State of Play and Entry Points Authors: Christophe Bellmann, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Marianne Kettunen, & Mahesh Sugathan
This policy brief provides an update on the trade and environment interface from a WTO governance perspective. It presents an overview of the different institutional fora, functions, and processes where this interface is or can be addressed.
TESS Forum - Trade and Environment at the WTO: State of Play and Entry Points Authors: Christophe Bellmann, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Marianne Kettunen, and Mahesh Sugathan
This policy brief provides an update on the trade and environment interface from a WTO governance perspective. It presents an overview of the different institutional fora, functions, and processes where this interface is or can be addressed.
TESS Forum - Securing a Just and Inclusive Global Green Economy Through Trade Policy Authors: Nicolas Lockhart, Dominic Coppens, Katherine Connolly, & Stella Perantakou
This briefing note provides ideas for that debate. It sets forth a vision for the green transition; rules and principles for the design of trade-related environmental measures; and a diagnostic exercise for the development of data-driven trade policy.
IISD - Where Do WTO Trade and Environmental Sustainability Initiatives Stand Today? Authors: Aik Hoe Lim, Daniel Ramos, Gergana Kiskinova
Work within the WTO on trade and environmental sustainability has intensified in recent years, culminating in the launch of three ministerial statements on topics ranging from plastics pollution to fossil fuel subsidy reform. This policy analysis outline the latest developments and discuss next steps.
CUTS - Environment and International Trade: Latest Developments in the WTO and Their Possible Implications Author: Euphemia Ngoya
The note provides a historical review of past work undertaken at the WTO on trade and environment issues. In addition, it highlights the latest development of the three trade and environment initiatives: the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD), the Informal Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Sustainable Plastics Trade (IDP), and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR). The note further provides reflections for a way forward towards MC12 and beyond.
Sweden's National Board of Trade - Trade and Climate Change: Promoting climate goals with a WTO agreement Authors: Emilie Eriksson, Fredrik Gisselman and Neil Swanson
In this report, the Swedish government agency National Board of Trade, highlights issues that WTO members might focus on to promote climate goals, and different legal forms an agreement might take.
IISD - Delivering for the Environment at MC12 Author: Carolyn Deere Birkbeck
This policy analysis analyzes some of the top opportunities for trade policy-makers at the World Trade Organization’s upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference to address environmental crises in a way that supports sustainable development.
TESS Forum - Biodiversity and International Trade Policy Primer: How Does Nature Fit in the Sustainable Trade Agenda? Authors: Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Elena Antoni, Marianne Kettunen, & Jamie Wang
This policy paper introduces readers to the state of the world’s biodiversity as well as drivers and impacts of biodiversity loss. It reviews international commitments, instruments, nature-related priorities, and the state of play on relevant international policymaking on biodiversity. Building on this foundation, the paper proceeds to explore linkages between trade flows and biodiversity, including the intersections of trade policy and biodiversity goals. Finally, the paper proposes a number of priority areas for enhanced policy dialogue, research, and action.
WEF - Delivering a Climate Trade Agenda: Industry Insights The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Clifford Chance, interviewed representatives from more than 30 companies to better understand how trade can support climate action. Based on insights from these interviews, this report identifies several immediate opportunities for trade policy to support businesses in achieving emissions reductions, as well as areas in which further work is required to ensure trade and climate policy coherence. The report summarizes these findings and suggests paths forward from the perspectives of stakeholders.
QUNO - Circular Economy and Trade: Some questions and possible ways forward The working paper looks specifically into the potential for cooperation on circular economy in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in its Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD).
WEF - Facilitating Trade Along Circular Electronics Value Chains This briefing note presents insights from a series of dialogues, a survey and interviews on the challenges in reverse supply chains for electronics, and presents ideas to facilitate safe, responsible trade for a circular economy in electronics that would be consistent and complementary with existing international environmental treaties.
[Proposed] Ministerial Statement on Trade and Environmental Sustainability (MC12)
Unrestricted version circulated as WT/MIN(21)/6 on 15 November 2021.
We, the Ministers representing the following Members of the WTO: Albania; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Canada; Chad; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; European Union; Fiji; Finland; France; The Gambia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Maldives; Malta; Mexico; Moldova, Republic of; Montenegro; Netherlands; New Zealand; North Macedonia; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Senegal; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu; United Kingdom; and the United States issue this statement at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12):
Noting the communication on trade and environmental sustainability in document WT/CTE/W/249 that launched the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions in November 2020; Recalling that sustainable development and the protection and preservation of the environment are fundamental goals of the WTO, enshrined in the preamble of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO; Recognizing the importance of multilateral environmental agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), among others; Underscoring the need for inclusive approaches that reflect the circumstances of the diversity of the WTO’s membership and their specific development needs; Recognizing that international trade and trade policy can and must support environmental and climate goals and promote more sustainable production and consumption, taking into account the importance of a just transition and making progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Stressing the importance of environmental sustainability as a central issue for the WTO agenda and noting the important work undertaken in the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE), as well as other WTO regular Committees or Bodies where environment matters arise; Reaffirming that the Structured Discussions are not meant to duplicate other initiatives in the WTO, or indeed any other international or global initiative as well as existing WTO agreements and mandates; Highlighting the valuable inputs that stakeholders have given to the Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, which have already served to enhance discussions by bringing scientific and data-based evidence to deliberations and reiterating the commitment to continue this dialogue and enhance transparency; Noting the recent and current efforts by a diversity of WTO Members to address and promote dialogue and information sharing at the WTO on issues where trade, environmental and climate policies intersect, including on circular economy; natural disasters; climate change mitigation and adaptation; fossil fuel subsidies reform; plastic pollution; combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and ensuring legal and sustainable trade in wildlife; the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; sustainable oceans; facilitating access to green technology; sustainable tourism; sustainable agriculture as well as trade in environmental goods and services; And also noting other ministerial statements1 on issues related to trade and environmental sustainability and understanding that nothing in this statement compels any supporter to join any of them;
Launch dedicated discussions on how trade-related climate measures and policies can best contribute to climate and environmental goals and commitments while being consistent with WTO rules and principles;
Explore opportunities and possible approaches for promoting and facilitating trade in environmental goods and services to meet environmental and climate goals, including through addressing supply chain, technical and regulatory elements;
Identify and compile best practices, as well as explore opportunities for voluntary actions and partnerships to ensure that trade and trade policies are supportive of and contribute to:
(i) achieving a more resource-efficient circular economy;
(ii) promoting sustainable supply chains and addressing the challenges and opportunities arising from the use of sustainability standards and any related measures, in particular for developing Members; and
(iii) promoting and facilitating access to environmental goods and services, including encouraging the global uptake of new and emerging low-emissions and other climate-friendly technologies;
Identify challenges and opportunities for sustainable trade, including for developing and least developed Members, and encourage enhanced collaboration among participating Members in strengthening capacity building and technical assistance on trade and environmental sustainability, including through Aid for Trade;
Support continued discussions on the environmental effects and trade impacts of relevant subsidies and the role of the WTO in addressing these;
Adopt the Roadmap, and take steps to advance work, and commit to review progress after one year, to take stock and with a view to adapting the TESSD work plan.
ROADMAP TESSD – 2022
• February 2022: TESSD meeting – adopt workplan to implement operational part of MC12 statement. • April 2022: TESSD meeting – implementation of workplan. Begin planning and preparations for high-level event. • July 2022: TESSD meeting – take stock of implementation status of MC12 statement and need to adapt the workplan to achieve full implementation of MC12 statement. • October 2022: TESSD meeting – implementation of workplan. • December 2022: High-level stocktaking event to review progress achieved (notably identification of good practices, voluntary actions and partnerships in the relevant areas) and adopt next steps towards MC13.