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WCEF Side Event: Sustainable Trade in Supporting Global Green Value Chains

December 1st, 2021 virtual



The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the interconnectedness of the world. The UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming and the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow emphasize the significance of both national actions and international cooperation.

Security and green development of global value chains could lay a solid foundation for economic globalization and green recovery in the post-pandemic era. The focus of circular economy is shifting from the production side only to include consumption side issues, serving as a reference to greening value chains. Innovation in technology could help develop useful tools when building global green value chains. Trade systems serving sustainability could provide strong institutional support for global green value chains.

As a high-level, non-profit international advisory body championing sustainable development, carrying out policy research and providing practical policy recommendations to top Chinese leadership is the core and fundamental mission of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). In 2019, CCICED launched a policy study on the topic of green value chains, co-led by experts from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the World Resource Institute. The policy study examined the implications of China’s economic and industrial activities and discussed subsequent environmental impacts. The outcome of this policy study led to CCICED Policy Recommendations on further promoting green and sustainable trade policies, including sustainable sourcing. The latest Policy Recommendations also included a proposal for China to “align domestic green targets and measures with multilateral and international cooperation”.

In early October, China and the EU issued a Joint Communiqué agreeing to “making the supply chain more sustainable.” A few weeks ago, China and US also issued a Joint Declaration in Glasgow confirming their intention to cooperate on key issues relating to a circular economy.

In this context, on 1 December 2021, CCICED is organizing a virtual discussion via IISD’s Trade and Sustainability Hub and as a side event of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2021. The overall objectives are to take advantage of the presence of international experts attending the WCEF and Trade and Sustainability Hub to organize an exchange between international and Chinese experts to discuss among following topics:

  • a recent development on green value chains;
  • circular economy innovation to realize net-zero and nature-positive outcomes;
  • post-Kunming & post-Glasgow policies and standards needed to advance sustainable trade; and
  • opportunities and challenges to global value chains brought by the future of trade.

This event is open for public participation, taking advantage of the IISD Trade and Sustainable Hub, which has attracted many registrants from civil society, government, business, and international organizations, as well as CCICED experts and advisors.


Chair: Scott Vaughan, International Chief Advisor, CCICED

13:30 Welcoming remarks

13:35 Stepping up on Greening the Global Value Chain – from rhetoric to action 

Building on recent multilateral and plurilateral developments, panelists will provide overviews on urgent actions needed and practical tools available for stakeholders to upscale their efforts in greening the global value chain for a net-zero and nature-positive future.

  • Kathleen McLaughlin, CCICED Council Member, Executive Vice president and Chief Sustainability Officer for Walmart Inc., President, Walmart Foundation
  • ZHANG Jianping, Director, Regional Economic Cooperation Research Center, Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation
  • Kevin Moss, Global Director, Center for Sustainable Business, World Resources Institute
  • TIAN Huifang, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Shannon Castellarin, Manager in Plastic Regulatory Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Canada

14:05 Reflective Commentaries 

Commentators will share preliminary reflections on the panel discussion and further explore key issues relating to production and consumption, sustainability standards, traceability, and so on.

  • Guillermo Castilleja, CCICED Special Advisor; Senior Advisor, Global Alliance for the Future of Food
  • Cristina Larrea, Lead, Sustainability Standards, International Institute for Sustainable Development

14:25 Public Discussions 

14:45 Close of the Session 

Time Zone
Central European Time (CET)
Register December 1st, 2021 virtual

Task Force:

Innovation, Sustainable Production and Consumption

Event Type:

CCICED Event, Community Event