TESSD plans for high-level event in December

On 19 th and 20 th July, TESSD held its last plenary session before the summer break. Members welcomed the United Arab Emirates and Brazil to the group.

The Facilitators for each of the four workstreams (ie Trade-related Climate Measures, Environmental Goods and Services, Circular Economy and Subsidies) provided a synopsis of past discussions and proposed next steps for future meetings.

On Trade-Related Climate Measures, Switzerland and Turkey, as facilitators, proposed inviting the OECD, the IMF and the WTO Secretariat to share insight on international carbon pricing. Members should also expect to hear an update about the G7’s work to establish a carbon club. In addition, they proposed inviting the ISO to share information about its work on carbon standards.

During the session on Environmental Goods and Services, the UK delivered a presentation on the technical barriers to trade impacting environmental goods.

Non-tariff barriers, such as tariff rate quotas, were identified as part of the challenges facing trade in these goods. The presentation also included case studies on wind turbines and solar panels to highlight specific challenges. As for next steps, there appeared to be general support for concentrating on climate mitigation and adaptation as the environmental objective. The next meeting, which is expected to take place in October, will explore climate mitigation in greater depth and environmental services.

In terms of the circular economy, the Facilitators proposed inviting representatives from international organizations. They also suggested engaging in a mapping exercise of the different trade aspects that have featured in previous exchanges. By and large, Members were supportive of this approach and looked forward to hearing input from different stakeholders. Several Members also provided an update
on their national and regional circular economy initiatives.

Lastly, an update from the subsidies working group was provided. Previous discussions concentrated on agricultural subsidies, however, the next meeting is expected to focus on the environmental and trade effects of industrial and green subsidies. The Facilitators envisage inviting the WTO Secretariat to present on the Environmental Database in order to illustrate the extent to which Members use subsidies
for environmental objectives. Other stakeholders could also present on industrial and green subsidies, and share experiences.

The next informal working groups are expected to take place in the first week of October, ahead of the next Environment Week, which is scheduled for the week of 17 th October.