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The 10th Ministerial of the WTO (MC10) was organised immediately after the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which delivered a new climate agreement for the post-2020 era.

In this context, countries have submitted their climate contributions, which form the basis for climate action under that new agreement. This bottom-up approach and almost universal participation means that a wide variety of climate policy instruments will be used across the world, many of them with possible trade relevance.

The mega gathering of climate delegates and experts at the COP happened in parallel with political steps in the trade world towards the liberalisation of environmental goods, including many climate-friendly technologies and essential clean energy goods. This refers both to reforms within regional- and bilateral trade agreements and to the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiation.

Bringing down trade barriers in climate-friendly goods is one of the most concrete, positive contributions which the trade system can do for climate action in the short to medium term, with multiple additional development gains that can be realised in parallel.

In the light of these developments, and of the many complex interlinkages between trade and climate change, there is scope for deepening the conceptual debate. Even more so, it is crucial to ensure that the global trade system is supportive of and being effectively used for climate action, ultimately contributing to the fulfillment of the recently adopted global sustainable development goals.

It is against this background that South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and the ICTSD convened a session under the Trade and Development Symposium (TDS) in parallel with MC10 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The session discussed emerging issues in trade and climate change, with an emphasis on developing countries. It brought together experts and stakeholders from different perspectives to discuss strategies for ensuring coherence in issues related to trade within COP and WTO processes. 

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Nairobi, Kenya
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Taking stock of evolutions in the trade and climate relationshipBioRes Paris Update #1 | “We cannot abandon hope,” the driver behind talks on a new climate regimeIdentifying Products with Climate and Development Benefits for an Environmental Goods AgreementAddressing Energy Efficiency Products in the Environmental Goods Agreement: Issues, Challenges and the Way ForwardEnvironmental goods agreement trade talks set to review draft final list
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This event is organized at the ICTSD Trade and Development Symposium (TDS)

Date: 16 December

Time: 17.15-18.45

Place: Kenya, Nairobi

For more information please visit the TDS website.

Date period: 
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 - 1:57pm

A rapid scale-up and deployment of environmentally-friendly energy technologies, as well as a strengthening of energy efficiency are crucial for responding to the challenges of climate change.

Reducing barriers to trade in relevant technologies can contribute to considerable cost savings and can therefore play an important role in supporting climate action. Removing tariffs could have a particularly positive effect on the clean energy sector, where the hundreds of components that are required to build wind mills or solar panels cross many borders.

The benefits of such efforts to climate mitigation would be global. Research shows that removing tariffs on environmentally-friendly technologies would have a positive impact on emissions reductions, particularly if combined with the removal of other trade obstacles.

In this context, a unique trade agreement, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), is being negotiated between more than 40 countries, including many of the world’s largest producers of clean energy technologies. The deal, which may conclude as early as December 2015, will result in improved global access to cheaper, more competitive climate relevant technologies, therefore contributing to climate action. Participants in the EGA discussions have explicitly stated their ambition to contribute to the work of the UNFCCC in combating climate change and transitioning to a green economy.

Beyond the EGA, there are many more possible options for trade forming part of a comprehensive response to the challenge of climate change. In particular, it will be necessary to address a range of behind the border issues which the industry faces when operating on the global value chains that are typical for many climate-friendly goods. It may also be necessary to revisit the global frameworks to ensure that these are supportive to the trade- climate interface which spurs effective climate action. 

This event, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), brought together stakeholders from industry, think tanks, academia and IGOs for an interactive and dynamic event. It provided an overview and analysis of the climate-relevance of the EGA and put this in the broader context of what trade can do for climate action. Discussions highlighted in particular benefits of the EGA, as well as issues that would require the attention of policy makers in a next phase, after an initial EGA is concluded.

The event took place on Monday, 7 December from 14:30-17:00 in the IETA & WBCSD Business Hub (Hall 3 No. 4)

 

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Paris, France
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“Green goods” trade talks kick off in GenevaEnvironmental Goods Agreement talks focus on clean energy productsEnvironmental goods agreement trade talks set to review draft final listSecuring climate benefits
 in the Environmental Goods AgreementThe road ahead for the environmental goods agreement talksAddressing Energy Efficiency Products in the Environmental Goods Agreement: Issues, Challenges and the Way ForwardIdentifying Products with Climate and Development Benefits for an Environmental Goods AgreementTransforming the APEC Outcome on Environmental Goods into a Broader Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative: What are the Options?The APEC List of Environmental Goods: An Analysis of the Outcome & Expected ImpactsFostering Low Carbon Growth: The Case for a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement
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Date: Monday, 7 December 2015

Time: 14:30-17:00

Accreditation: Please note that this venue is in the blue zone of the COP...

Date period: 
Monday, 7 December 2015 - 5:51pm

The objective of this meeting is to allow peer reviewers of a draft ICTSD scoping paper on the intersections between trade and trade policy and water management to discuss a first draft of the paper and engage with alternative perspectives on the issues it raises.

The paper is the first in a broader research programme designed to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of trade policy tools and their impact on sustainable water management, and in particular of trade in the goods and services required to support sustainable water management.  The paper is thus intended to help identify promising areas for further research around the contribution that trade and trade policy could make to better management of water resources.

 

Participation in this meeting is by invitation only. 

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Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
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ENVIRONMENT
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Environment
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English
Date period: 
Friday, 23 October 2015 - 11:46am