Ministers from WTO Member States have committed to using trade as a tool to develop a global circular economy.
European Union countries, the United States, China, Japan, the UK and many others issued a joint Ministerial Statement on trade and environmental sustainability.
One of the key points of the statement was that WTO Members would agree to: “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.”
Another point was that the WTO Members would explore opportunities and possible approaches for using trade in environmental goods and services as a way to meet environmental and climate goals.
While another measure was that they would identify challenges and opportunities for developing and least developed nations, and look for enhanced collaboration with developed Members to build trade capacity that supports the environment.
The points agreed in this statement will be reviewed for progress in a year’s time.