DDG González highlighted that trade is critically important for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to access the goods, services and technologies needed to adapt to climate change and decarbonize their economies, adding that trade officials need to take a serious look at the barriers that may hinder the emergence of an efficient, globally integrated market for the clean technologies of today and tomorrow.

“We must make sure that trade and climate policies pull in the same, not in opposite, directions, because the wrong trade policies can set back efforts to achieve climate and other environmental goals,” she said.

DDG González called on trade officials in Latin America and the Caribbean to make full use of the WTO as a forum to discuss with partners the trade effects of border carbon adjustments and other climate measures, and to work through any challenges that may arise to avoid fragmentation and friction. She added that the WTO is working across a wide range of areas relevant to climate change, from promoting trade in environmental goods and services and reforming environmentally harmful subsidies to shoring up the circular economy and fighting plastics pollution.

DDG González observed that many emerging green and circular business models rely on digital tools, leasing and sharing systems, and compliance with sustainability standards to create value. “Trade officials can help green businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean take root and join sustainable supply chains by reducing services and digital trade barriers, and by working with domestic stakeholders and international partners to strengthen countries' infrastructure for standards and quality,” she said.

During the event, speakers addressed the challenges and opportunities facing Latin America and the Caribbean in using trade to decarbonize their economies and promote green business initiatives. The event, titled “Trade and Environment: What Do Policymakers and Companies in the Americas Need to Know?”, was moderated by Steve Liston, Senior Director at the Council of the Americas. In addition to DDG González, the panel was composed of Bill Maloney, Chief Economist of Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank Group, and Nigel Purvis, CEO of Climate Advisors. The recording of the event is available here.




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