WTO’s Okonjo-Iweala Champions Trade as a Catalyst for Environmental Sustainability

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Trade Ministers’ Coalition Focuses on Climate Struggles

In a recent meeting of the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate, our source reports that DG Okonjo-Iweala emphasized the essential role trade plays in tackling worldwide environmental issues. These issues range from biodiversity loss and pollution to more immediate disasters related to climate change.

Universal Environmental Sustainability through Trade

The Coalition, founded in January 2023, has strived to harness trade for environmental sustainability. In doing so, their efforts closely mirror those of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a fact which Okonjo-Iweala was quick to acknowledge.

The WTO’s various undertakings – including their Dialogue on Plastics Pollution, the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions, and the Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reform – were pinpointed as areas of notable convergence between the two organization’s objectives.

Utilizing Trade to Influence Climate Policy

Okonjo-Iweala urged Coalition members to tap into the WTO’s capabilities to maximize their influence. For strategic guidance, she referred to the ‘Trade Policy Tools for Climate Action’ report, another WTO initiative.

A Year of Climate-focused Trade Activity

The meeting, which saw valuable input from co-leads in Ecuador, the European Union, Kenya, and New Zealand, took a close look at the Coalition’s activities in the past year. Particular attention was given to understanding the progress made so far, and to discussing potential avenues for future collaborations centered around trade, sustainability, and climate change.

Climate Action in Focus

Upon the meeting’s conclusion, a communiqué was released, reiterating the Coalition’s core goal. That is, to promote international cooperation and collective action towards climate-centric pursuits across all relevant initiatives.


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