Trade Policy Development - UNEP
On the basis of local circumstances and needs nationally or regionally, determined through a stakeholder engagement process, the Environment and Trade Hub and partners engage in a range of activities including the development of tailored technical trainings supporting the design and implementation of sustainable trade and investment policies. This process often begins with dialogues, which identify key national and regional stakeholders such as government officials and other relevant public, private and civil society actors. Throughout the national and regional advisory, these stakeholders are involved in the planning, verification and execution of technical trainings and other related project activities.
The Environment and Trade Hub also offers an online learning course on Green Economy and Trade, organized by UN Environment and UNITAR through the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE). The six-week course introduces concepts at the nexus of trade and environment, allowing participants to acquire basic skills for translating sustainable trade principles into real-world economic, policy and professional contexts. The target group for the course is primarily policy makers involved in developing and setting up policy frameworks for sustainable development, in addition to the private sector and civil society representatives.
The Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is a plurilateral agreement currently being negotiated between 17 WTO Members, including some of the largest traders such as the US, EU, China, Australia, Canada, Korea. Jointly, EGA membership accounts for 90% of global trade in environmental goods. The EGA is expected to create triple-win outcomes for trade, environment, and development by liberalizing trade in environmental goods that contribute to environmental protection and fighting against climate change, such as renewable energy products, energy efficiency products, and water and waste treatment technologies. The Environment and Trade Hub’s current work on EGA aims to assist developing countries in understanding and assessing the opportunities, benefits, and challenges of EGA participation. It also supports the future implementation and potential expansion of the agreement, into areas such as services and non-tariff barriers and falls under the Environment and Trade Hub’s work stream on enhancing trade and investment in environmentally sound technologies.
Anja von Moltke
Head, Environment and Trade Hub
Economics and Trade Branch
E-mail: anja.moltke [at] unep.org ()
UN Environment participates in the Steering Committee of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), a platform that seeks to ensure that developing countries are not effectively excluded from export markets by engaging them in the dialogue on voluntary sustainability standards (VSS). The UNFSS focuses particularly on the potential value of VSS as a tool for developing countries to achieve national sustainable development objectives as well as the SDGs. At the same time, the UNFSS addresses the potential trade or development obstacles that these standards may create, with a particular emphasis on their impact on small-scale producers and less developed countries. As discussions on the private standards in other related international trade fora have not progressed significantly, UNFSS works to fill this gap by analyzing the impact of VSS and required strategies to proactively address VSS.