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Harness sustainable trade to protect the planet: WTO chief
By TII News Service
Jun 05, 2021 , Geneva

    

TRADE cooperation at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) must be harnessed sustainably to protect the environment and ensure inclusiveness and prosperity for the world’s people, WTO Director-General Ms Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on World Environment Day.

"The well-being of people is dependent upon the well-being of our planet, and trade can play an important role here," she said. "By connecting people and markets, trade helps lower costs and disseminate new environmental technologies. Trade can make resource use more efficient, reducing the strain on our ecosystems. New trade rules can help our economies become greener, cleaner, more prosperous, and more inclusive."

The chief of Geneva-headquarted organisation said she was encouraged by the ongoing discussions on trade and outcomes on environmental sustainability at the upcoming Ministerial Conference. The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) is scheduled for November 30-December 3, in Geneva, Switzerland.

A key WTO priority is concluding an agreement to end harmful fisheries subsidies. WTO members are also discussing new initiatives to improve trade's contribution to environmental sustainability, including the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and services, fossil fuel subsidy reform, the transition to a circular economy, plastics pollution and sustainable supply chains.

Noting the importance to collaborate on this year's UN Climate Change COP26, she said, "International cooperation is essential to achieving our collective commitments to protect the environment, mitigate climate change and prevent biodiversity loss and deforestation."

As economies recover from COVID-19, the world has an opportunity to build back "better and greener and bluer," said the WTO head.

 
 
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