Ensuring a positive contribution of trade policy to climate action towards COP 21

A dialogue by ICTSD and The Guarini Center
24 September 2014
New York , USA

Shifting to a cleaner energy mix is essential to keep the average global temperature rise below 2-degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels as highlighted by the latest IPCC report. In order to achieve this, costs of renewable energy have to come down and markets need to be strengthened so as to allow for a scale-up of innovation, production, and deployment of sustainable energy technologies. Trade policy has an important role to play in this respect.

The past few years have seen significant political momentum toward bringing down trade barriers in some of the relevant clean energy goods. Examples include the APEC initiative to reduce tariffs on a list of environmental goods, US President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and the launch of trade negotiations on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) in July this year by 14 like-minded WTO members.

The launch of EGA negotiations offers a timely opportunity for trade to effectively contribute to climate action if delegations involved identify, include, and prioritise climate-friendly goods as a first deliverable. The initiative has the potential to offer a much-needed impetus in the climate negotiations and lay the groundwork for a positive, collaborative and constructive spirit in the lead up to COP 21 in Paris in December 2015.

Against this background, ICTSD and The Guarini Center of NYU Law convened a dialogue during Climate Week NYC and on the sidelines of the Secretary-General's Climate Summit. The purpose of the event was to explore the potential of the EGA negotiations to foster trade as a tool for enhancing climate action and to discuss how this could help support climate negotiations towards Lima and Paris. 

The fostered a forward-looking, action-oriented discussion between government representatives, business leaders and key experts. 

James Bacchus is Senior Counsellor at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). He is also Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity at the University of Central Florida. He was one of the seven founding Members and served twice as the Chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, the highest international tribunal of world trade.  He is a former Member of the Congress of the United States and a former US international trade negotiator. For more than 14 years following completion of his service on the WTO Appellate Body he was chair of the global practice of the largest law firm in the United States and one of the largest in the world. He is the author of the books Trade and Freedom (2004) and The Willing World: Shaping and Sharing a Sustainable Global Prosperity (forthcoming in 2018 from Cambridge University Press). He appears frequently on leading platforms and in prominent publications worldwide.


Jake Colvin is Vice President for Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council, where he leads the organization's engagement with the World Trade Organization, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and its policy work on intellectual property rights, trade and environment issues, and the digital economy. He also serves as ExecutiveDirector of the Global Innovation Forum at NFTC, where he works with startup, business, education and nonprofit leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with participating in the global marketplace.  Jake has written for Business Week, testified before Congress and provided analysis for outlets including NBC, CNN and Time Magazine. 

Ann leads GE’s efficiency, stewardship and product environmental compliance programs across GE’s global supply chains. Her team works closely with GE’s businesses on resource efficiency, product and chemical stewardship and life cycle management to achieve compliance, find competitive advantage and promote sustainable business growth. Her group supports GE’s ecomagination initiative by providing regulatory and technical expertise, setting and reporting the ecomagination operating goals, and providing leadership on the policy and value chain aspects of GE’s ecomagination growth strategy. 

Ann developed and oversees GE’s ethical supply chain program. The ethical supply chain program touches thousands of suppliers every year, helping them meet GE’s expectations on EHS, labor, human rights and security. Ann is also responsible for the Citizenship web-site and works with all of GE’s subject matter experts on GE’s environmental, governance and social reporting and stakeholder engagement.  

A graduate of the University of Connecticut and George Washington University’s National Law Center, Ann has been deeply involved in the strategy and evolution of GE’s EHS and sustainability programs over the course of her career.

Ingrid SIDENVALL JEGOU is a Senior Adviser with 2050 Consulting. In that role, she focuses on advancing sustainability through enhanced business engagement. Prior to this, she held various positions in the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, ICTSD, including as Director for Climate, Energy and Natural Resources, and served in the senior management team of the organisation. Ms. Sidenvall Jegou has also held multiple positions in Swedish government agencies, including the Swedish National Board of Trade.

Ms Sidenvall Jegou holds a Masters of Economics and Politics from Lund University in Sweden and a Master of Global Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, MA.

Ingrid is and has been a member of various committees, including with the World Energy Council and the World Economic Forum. She was the ICTSD task leader in the EU research project “Carbon CAP”, and is a member of Climate Strategies. 

Ms. Sidenvall Jegou has authored and co-authored a number of papers on trade and climate change, particularly focusing on the G20, carbon pricing, emissions trading schemes, border measures and free allowances, as well as on trade and development more broadly and on trade in agriculture.


MA, Cambridge; MBA, Harvard; Harkness Fellow; Baker Scholar. 1986-93, British Ski Team. 1990-95, McKinsey & Company. 1995-98, Deputy MD, Associated Press TV; Founding Director, Sports News TV. 1998-2004, venture capitalist, consultant, entrepreneur. Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Member, UN High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. Visiting Professor, Imperial College. Member, Global Agenda Council on New Energy Architecture and selection panel, Technology Pioneers, World Economic Forum; Member, selection panel, Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers. Chairman, St Mark's Hospital Foundation for Colorectal Medicine.

Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ is co-founder of ICTSD and has been its Chief Executive since 1996. Previously, he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). He has represented Colombia as a negotiator in several multilateral fora, including as permanent delegate of Colombia in Geneva and as a negotiator in GATT’s Uruguay Round, the Rio’92 UN Conference process, UNCTAD VIII, the Climate Change Convention, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Montreal Protocol. He acted as spokesperson for the G77 in several fora and served as chair of the UN Standing Committees on Commodities and on Trade Preferences. Earlier, he had served as Principal Adviser to the Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia. Since 1997, Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz has been the publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications, and has edited, authored and published a wide range of books, articles and opinion pieces in English, French and Spanish on economic governance, trade, sustainable development and conflict management. He has served or currently sits on advisory committees and the boards of a number of global policy initiatives, including as Member of the Board of Intellectual Property Watch (Geneva); the Operating Board of AccountAbility (London); the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade and WEF’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change; The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy (U of Boston); The Center for Global Development’s Global Trade Preference Working Group (Washington, DC); The Evian’s Group Brains Trust (IMD); the Global Governance Network of Globus et Locus (Milano); the Steering Committees of DfID’s Global Trade and Finance Architecture Initiative and of UN DESA’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (New York), a Patron of the Earth Focus Foundation (Geneva); in the recent past he served as Chair of the Global Action Network’s Council (Cambridge, MA); and member of the U.N. Secretary General Millennium Project Task Force on Trade; the WTO’s Director General NGO Advisory Group; and the MOFCOM/IISD China Sustainable Development and Global Markets Task Force. Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz, a graduate of Harvard University, has recently co-authored Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) with A. Najam and M. Halle, and co-edited Rebuilding Global Trade: Proposals for A Fairer, More Sustainable Future(Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford U. and ICTSD, 2009) with C. Deere; Agricultural Subsidies In The WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence With Sustainable Development Goals (Cambridge University Press, 2009) with C. Bellmann and J. Hepburn; Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development, Agendas in a Changing World(Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) with P. Roffe; and, WTO Dispute Settlement: The Developing CountryExperience (Cambridge U. Press, forthcoming November 2010) with G. Shaffer. He holds Colombian and Belgian nationalities and is a resident of Switzerland where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Jennifer Y. Prescott was named Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources in January 2013, after previously serving as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative in the same office. Ms. Prescott oversees all trade and environment issues for USTR, including those related to free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation and implementation, work in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on trade and environment issues, and trade-related activities under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Ms. Prescott is dedicated to promoting green growth through open trade and investment policies.

Previously, as the Deputy Assistant USTR for Environment and Natural Resources, Ms. Prescott was responsible for reducing trade and investment barriers to U.S. exports of environmental goods and services (EGS), and led USTR’s EGS work in the WTO and in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum. She also served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the environmental chapters of U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Morocco, Bahrain and Oman. Prior to joining USTR’s Environment and Natural Resources Office, Ms. Prescott served as the Director for Transatlantic Trade Issues in USTR’s Europe and the Middle East Office, where she was responsible for managing bilateral trade issues with the European Commission.

Richard Stewart is recognized as one of the world’s leading scholars in environmental and administrative law. His current research projects include how to deploy law to reform and secure justice in global governance; innovative regulatory strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; regulatory changes in the electricity sector to promote sustainability, resilience, and efficiency; and solving the challenge of nuclear waste. Stewart also works on global climate law initiatives, electricity sector reform, and environmental law reform projects in China and other developing countries through the International Environmental Law Clinic and the Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law. Students are closely involved in these projects. Prior to joining the faculty, Stewart served as Byrne Professor of Administrative Law at Harvard Law School and as a member of the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He has served as assistant attorney general in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice and chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund. Stewart directs, with NYU School of Law Professor Benedict Kingsbury, a major project on global administrative law that examines and advances mechanisms of transparency, participation, reason giving, and review to meet accountability gaps in global regulatory institutions. He recently published a major book on US nuclear waste law regulation and policy.

Jo Tyndall is co-Chair of the APA (ad hoc working group on the Paris Agreement). She was New Zealand’s Climate Change Ambassador and head of delegation to the United Nations climate negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade from July 2010 until March 2016. She held a Vice President position on the Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, representing the regional grouping of Western European and Other States, in 2014 and 2015. Prior to her role as Climate Change Ambassador, Jo Tyndall was Director of the Broadcasting Unit in the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. From 1999 to 2006, she was Chief Executive of the broadcasting funding body, NZ On Air. She has also served as Chief Executive of two screen industry organisations - the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) and Project Blue Sky (1994 to 1999). Jo Tyndall began her career as a multilateral trade policy specialist with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Jacob Werksman joined the European Commission in April 2012 as Principal Adviser to Directorate General for Climate Action, where his work focuses on the international dimensions of European climate policy. His responsibilities include leading aspects of the European Union negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and advising the Commission with regard to international partnerships to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including through the International Civil Aviation Organization

Werksman is an international lawyer, specializing in international environmental law and international economic law. He has provided legal and policy advice to developed and developing country governments, NGOs and international institutions in the context of the UN climate change negotiations. He has taught and published widely on the international legal dimensions of climate policy, including on the design of compliance mechanisms, climate finance and on the relationship between carbon markets and international trade and investment agreements. 

Prior to joining the Commission, he held posts at the World Resources Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) in London. He has lectured in international environmental and economic law at the masters level at the New York University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies and University College at the University of London. Werksman holds degrees from Columbia University (A.B.), the University of Michigan (J.D.) and the University of London (LL M.).

The event will be convened in partnership with The Guarini Center on Environment, Energy and Land Use Law at NYU School of Law.

Venue: The Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt AveNY 10017, USA 

Date: 24 September 2014

Time: 12:30 - 15:30