TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT
Peru presented best practices for the management of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in equipment used in Peru's mining industry. PCBs are a group of man-made organic chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects. Peru's experience illustrated the importance of building public-private partnerships, providing technical assistance and capacity building, and involving key stakeholders.
In presenting its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to address climate change, Canada noted that tackling climate change offered an opportunity to transition to a strong, diverse and competitive low-carbon economy. Under its NDC, all Canadian provinces will put in place a price on carbon by 2018, and 90 per cent of electricity will be generated by non-emitting sources by 2030. Canada supports the continued discussion of the links between climate change and trade in the CTE and other relevant forums as a way to ensure that both regimes reinforce each other.
New Zealand shared information on the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, a global science-based partnership among 49 countries aimed at increasing food production without generating more emissions. New Zealand stressed that the world needed to find ways to produce more food without producing more emissions.
New Zealand also highlighted the potential role of the WTO in advancing wider efforts on fossil fuel subsidy reform. In that vein, New Zealand announced that it would hold a high-level event jointly with Finland during the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires.
The CTE also received a briefing by Australia and Japan on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations and on an EGA Symposium organized in August 2017 in Beijing by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Members were also briefed on the main outcomes of the 2017 meetings of the conferences of parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, held under the theme "A Future Detoxified: the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes".
The WTO Secretariat presented its latest update to the Environmental Database, which includes information on environment-related measures notified under WTO agreements and environment-related measures mentioned in the WTO's Trade Policy Reviews. Users can search through information according to specific criteria, such as by member, agreement, type of measures, product, or environmental objective. The database covers measures undertaken from 1997 to 2015.
The WTO Secretariat also introduced its updated Matrix on Trade-related Measures Pursuant to Selected Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The updated matrix includes for the first time information on the Port State Measures Agreement aimed at preventing, deterring and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Several members underscored the usefulness of both the Environmental Database and the MEA matrix in deepening their understanding of the links between trade and the environment.