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We need better alignment between climate and trade. Here's a roadmap

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A ministerial declaration on environment and trade at the 2020 WTO Ministerial Conference

International trade and climate change are two areas of global public policy that are widely acknowledged as bringing significant challenges. However, the links between the two are often neglected, with climate and trade policymakers operating in distinct silos.

In this article, published by the World Economic Forum as part of their Davos 2020 proceedings, GEG Senior Research Associate Carolyn Deere Birkbeck and Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce John Denton argue for greater cooperation in the areas of trade and climate policymaking. They identify the core issues that must be addressed and highlight existing efforts by governments, businesses and civil society to address trade and climate policy as interlinking issues. Additionally, they advocate a range of policy proposals that should be people-centred and driven by the UN Sustainable Development goals.

With the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020 offering a critical opportunity to align trade and climate governance, this also provides an opportunity for the WTO to highlight its relevance – at a time when it faces challenges from elsewhere – through stepping up efforts to combat climate change and support inclusive multilateralism as it does so.