Ahead of the UK hosting COP 26 later this year, the Trade Justice Movement and Queen Mary University of London are calling for the UK government to ensure that trade agreements help rather than hinder climate action.
The policy briefing, How Trade Can Support Climate Action: A 2021 Agenda for the UK, co-authored by experts from Queen Mary and the Trade Justice Movement is to be launched at an online event on 13 July featuring an international panel including MPs, sets out how the UK is in a unique position to influence the international trade regime to support climate action.
The Trade Justice Movement (TJM) is a UK coalition of nearly sixty civil society organisations, with millions of individual members, calling for trade rules that work for people and planet.
How Trade Can Support Climate Action: A 2021 Agenda for the UK, outlines how three important pillars of the UK’s approach to tackling climate change – decarbonising the economy, creating green jobs and industries and delivering more sustainable food and farming systems - could either be helped or hindered by trade rules. It also makes practical recommendations for the UK government.
The policy briefing sets out six recommendations:
Ruth Bergan, Senior Adviser of the Trade Justice Movement said: "The profound nature of what needs to change – how we live, work, travel, heat our homes, grow and consume food – demands unprecedented focus and coherence from governments. It in particular demands fresh thinking about the intersection between trade and climate change."
Professor Liam Campling, Professor of International Business and Development at Queen Mary said: "As the climate crisis looms, we must make creative use of trade policy tools to produce and consume in more environmentally sustainable and socially just ways. Trade policy should no longer hinder environmental improvements with its narrow focus on profitably and 'efficiency', instead it must be put at the service of people and planet."
The high-level international panel of the online event will bring a wealth of experience looking at where the opportunities for innovation and progress lie in the months and years ahead given encouraging recent signals from the US and the WTO.
"2021 with the COP26 Summit and WTO Ministerial will be a pivotal year and the UK has a unique opportunity to provide the leadership needed to put trade rules in the service of climate action," added Ruth Bergan, Senior Adviser of the Trade Justice Movement.
Speakers of the event included Golriz Ghahraman MP, Green Party spokesperson on trade, New Zealand, Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent for The Guardian and Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise. Other panellists included Dr. Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Shaun Spiers, Executive Director, Green Alliance and Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for International Trade.
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