Work on the intersection between trade and the environment has been underway for decades, including early work by CCICED. A major focus of earlier work has been to anticipate and avoid friction or conflicts between the two regimes. This next generation of trade–environment work involves identifying how these two systems can be better aligned and integrated; in this phase, trade becomes a proactive catalyst in advancing key climate, nature, circular economy, and pollution objectives in ways that also advance common prosperity and innovation goals.
The international co-chairs of the CCICED scoping study were Bernice Lee, Research Director, Futures, Chatham House, Hoffmann Distinguished Fellow for Sustainability, and Dr. John Hancock, Head, Policy Development, the World Trade Organization (WTO). A series of meeting with Chinese and international experts (see Annex 1) was held in the first quarter of 2022.
Overall Recommendation: CCICED should examine how to strengthen governance and institutional synergies between trade and the environment. Specific areas of future CCICED work include how to implement green and zero-deforestation supply chains, the reform of
environmentally harmful subsidies, the control of single-use plastics, and tracking emerging work on border carbon adjustment, with focused work on energy-intensive and trade-exposed sectors like steel and aluminum. A priority of CCICED’s green trade work should be how it can amplify economic development, job creation, income growth, and gender equality. More detailed recommendations are below.
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